Top Chef’s Ludo Lefebvre Surrenders to Mexico!

Could it be? Could consummate Frenchman Ludo Lefebvre have abandoned his Gallic roots?

Well, yes and no. As the Top Chef Masters alum explains in this latest installment of his ongoing stint a Celebuzz celebrity guest blogger, after watching his beloved French soccer team go down in defeat to Mexico at this year’s World Cup, he has ditched the notion of French supremacy in soccer, and embraced Mexican culture—especially as it regards pig ear quesadillas.

Confused? Read on…

How France Lost My Heart…

I have always been so proud of my country, you know we are the best at everything; the food, the wine, the fashion and soccer. Okay maybe we haven’t been “the best” at soccer since 1998 but really we should have won the World Cup in 2006 if Zidane didn’t go all French and let the Italians get under his skin. It is a French thing; we get emotional because we care, just ask my kitchen staff.

Even though I was prepared for disappointment this year at the World Cup, I proudly put on my French jersey because in France soccer is a religion and no matter how much your God might disappoint you, you still believe. Guess what, I don’t believe anymore. I watched the France/Mexico game in a room of 300 Mexican fans, proudly being one of only two French fans in the room (the other was my wife) wearing my blue, white & red. All I can say is I no longer own that jersey. I gave it to the owner of Guelaguetza and happily took a Mexican soccer t-shirt in exchange.   

It is a strange turn of events, especially following my well-publicized battle with Rick Bayless on Top Chef Masters 1, and his comment, “What does a French guy know about quesadillas anyway,” blah blah.  Well I still stand by my quesadilla, Rick, but I am now a Mexican soccer fan, 100%. Sorry France, you lost my heart (I’m only talking soccer here people). But I have to say,  this new allegiance has opened my eyes further into the Mexican culture and what it has to offer.

 I have been checking out the Mexican food in Washington D.C. and taking a cue from our First Lady, I had to check out Oyamel by Jose Andres. Pretty impressive I must say. I love guacamole, but having it prepared tableside, nothing is better, nothing fresher. So simple but so good. And in honor of my love for quesadillas, try the quesadilla de chicharrones with pork belly and five-chilis sauce. Maybe Jose can give my pig ears quesadilla a try. I know that “cactus paddles” sound painful, but grilled and served with salsa molcajete, there is no pain involved.  Did I mention how smart the Mexicans are when it comes to drinking? A pitcher of margaritas for $38? It is difficult to get a decent bottle of French wine for that price (at least in America) and you surely don’t get the same bang for your buck when it comes to the buzz factor.

This week Top Cheffers, if you haven’t packed your knives you have made it further than me, so I am not sure I have any advice that can help at this point, so just have fun.