Ludo Lefebvre has taken his traveling pop-up concept LudoBites one step further, moving his migratory restaurant, which has lately popped up in downtown Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks, to the Sundance Channel. The LudoBites America show will debut in mid-July.
“After having 6 really special LudoBites experiences in Los Angeles we knew we wanted to take it on the road. Sort of graduating from a pop-up to a touring restaurant,” Ludo's wife and business partner Kristine Lefebvre told us. After having been approached by many producers, Lefebvre said that the Sundance Channel “felt right,” given Ludo's independent status. “We feel like LudoBites is the 'indie' restaurant and Ludo is definitely an 'indie' chef these days, so it seemed like a good match.” Robert Redford would doubtless agree.
The LudoBites America show will consist of 6 episodes, taking place in 6 cities. The first episode, in which Ludo arrives and cooks and opens an incarnation of LudoBites for one day only in Mobile, Alabama, has already been filmed. Marfa, Texas, is next. The other cities have yet to be decided. What's on each episode?
“It will show the local culture (food and people), our restaurant selection process, Ludo's creation of the menu based on the local food sources and then the opening and execution of LudoBites in that city for one day. We hire local help (just like we do here — both front of the house and back of the house), find suppliers, and have to fill the restaurant. Although this is being produced for television, this is REAL LudoBites. Customers pay.”
Orchestrating a normal LudoBites was a small feat of organization, inspiration and jury-rigging. A LudoBites as television show, which takes the pop-up restaurant almost to the level of game show, sounds, well, like a lot of work. “We're in town for one week,” said Kristine Lefebvre. “We have about 4 days to explore and prep for the LudoBites stop. It is kind of crazy.”