Top Chef's Ludo Lefebvre Explains the Politics of Cooking (Part 2)
In these tumultuous times, there's no shortage of troubles facing our elected officials in the nation's capital. Luckily, Top Chef Masters contestant, transplanted Frenchman and Celebuzz's newest celebrity blogger, Ludo Lefebvre, has a few ideas on how to clean up Washington—or at least on how to serve up something that will compel the city's politicians and lobbyists to clean their plates. Read on for his master plan:
"I am French, oh did I tell you that already? I think it was about 500 times on Top Chef Masters, yes? Anyway, I think it is important to know because things are different from country-to-country, even in politics. In the US it is frowned upon to 'buy-off' politicians with a good meal & great wine, and the government even limits the amount of money those doing the buying can spend (when I became a U.S. citizen I learned these people are called lobbyists). Doesn’t our government know that this really puts a damper on the restaurant industry? I have been gone from France awhile but trust me when I say that there was no shortage of 'buying' going on in the Michelin 3 Star restaurants when I was coming up through the ranks. Not only did the politicians eat well, but they drank even better. I think the philosophy in France was get them drunk—that is when the best political decisions are made. But we are not in France, we are in America and I understand some guy named Abramoff ruined the fun for everyone. I recently had dinner with a friend that told me about this great lunch that he had The Palm in D.C. and the whole meal with tip was $25, he mentioned it all had to do with the lobbyist limits. I'm not a huge fan of big 'chains' but have always had a great steak at The Palm and to add to that a salad and dessert for $25, pretty impressive. I definitely say check it out. I am still trying to figure out my friend’s math though: Was he off, or is he cheaper than I remember? Advertised price for 'Business Lunch aka Lobbyist Lunch' at The Palm, D.C. is $20.95, tax on restaurant sales 10% = total of $23.05, this leaves $1.95 for a tip, which is less than 10%, ouch. Taxes higher than tip, God Bless the USA. My advice to those Top Cheftestants is: Lots of butter. Don’t worry about the fat content because everything tastes better with butter."
Photo by Shayla Scuffi