Trois Mec & S.Pellegrino, in cooperation with Grey Goose, proudly present 2 Chefs, a Dialogue with Food. Returning for its second year, this special series of dinners will bring some of the country’s greatest chefs to Los Angeles in Fall/Winter of 2017 to cook for one night with chef Ludo Lefebvre in his kitchen at Trois Mec. Each dinner will feature a unique 6-course menu – 3 courses prepared by the guest chef, and 3 courses prepared by Ludo – inspired by the guest chef’s country and style of cuisine. The dinners will be dialogue between chefs, spoken through food, coming together for a truly once in a lifetime experience.
Cost: $150 per person, plus 18% service charge and tax
Includes a custom crafted Grey Goose cocktail and complimentary San Pellegrino.
All other beverages and wine are not included.
Tickets for solo diners will be available in our 9:30 seating.
Due to the unique nature of the menu, we will unfortunately not be able to accomodate any allergies or provide a guaranteed vegetarian menu. No changes or substitutions will be allowed.
Hugo's, Caracol, Xochi
James Beard Foundation Award - Best Chef Southwest 2017
Chef of the Year, Houston Culinary Awards (2011, 2002)
Smyth & The Loyalist
10 Best New Chefs 2010, Food & Wine
Spoon & Stable, Bellecour
James Beard Rising Star Chef 2008
10 Best New Chefs 2007, Food & Wine
James Beard Foundation - Best New Restaurant Finalist 2015
Jamie Bissonnette & Ken Oringer
Toro, Coppa, Little Donkey
Best New Chef 2011, Food & Wine
James Beard Foundation Awards, Best Chef Northeast 2014 (Bissonnette)
James Beard Foundation Awards, Best Chef Northeast 2001 (Oringer)
Cosme - No. 40 – World's 50 Best Restaurants
Pujol - No. 20 – World's 50 Best Restaurants
Chef Ludo Lefebvre celebrates 20 years of cooking in Los Angeles this year. He's one of the city's most influential chefs, known for his inventive, refined cooking at Trois Mec, twice named the No. 1 restaurant in LA by LA Weekly. His “bar a la carte” concept, Petit Trois, was a 2015 James Beard finalist for Best New Restaurant. Trois Familia, his brunch-only restaurant, has topped many best new restaurant lists since opening last year. And his fried-chicken truck-food phenomenon, LudoBird, now has premium locations at the STAPLES Center and within Universal CityWalk, in Hollywood.
In December 2015, Ludo became a “knight” when he received the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres award from his home country of France. He has also been named one of the 50 Greatest Chefs in the World by Relais & Châteaux, and was a James Beard finalist for Rising Star Chef. Additionally, he has received the prestigious Mobil 5 Star Award at two different Los Angeles Restaurants, L'Orangerie and Bastide.
Ludo is the author of two cookbooks, LudoBites: Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre and Crave: The Feast of the Five Senses, which sold out and has been re-released as a 10th anniversary limited edition.
Ludo was featured in 8 episodes of Season 5 of the emmy-winning show Mind of A Chef on PBS.
Chef John B. Shields began his culinary training in the St. Louis area, where he attended school and worked in local restaurants. Shields soon moved to Chicago where he served as sous chef for two years at world-renowned Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. In 2005, he left Trotter’s to help open the then unknown restaurant, Alinea, under the direction of Chef Grant Achatz. During his two years as sous chef, Alinea grew from an exciting upstart to one of the best restaurants in the world.
After leaving Alinea in 2008, John and his soon-to-be wife Karen Urie, turned down an offer to lead the opening of a Charlie Trotter restaurant in Las Vegas and instead took a bold chance on an opportunity to open a little-known restaurant in the countryside of Southwestern Virginia.
John and Karen were given carte blanche to re-imagine the then-unknown Town House restaurant. There two chef duo rebuilt the concept as a modern exploration of imaginative flavor and visual compositions that utilized the wide array of seasonal, locally grown, and foraged ingredients. In June of 2009, The New York Times published a glowing article about Town House, which was instrumental in vaulting John and Karen to the top tier of chefs and restaurants in the United States. The growing public interest in the food at Town House led to Chef John being named a 2010 “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine as well as a James Beard Award Semi-Finalist in 2011.
After four successful years at Town House and Riverstead Inn, the prodigal chef returned to Chicago with his wife and two daughters to open Smyth and The Loyalist to widespread acclaim, including 4 stars from the Chicago Tribune and a ‘Best New Restaurant’ nod from Chicago magazine. Indeed, after a recent dinner at Smyth, the Detroit Free Press noted, “I have seen the future of dining and its name is Smyth.”
Hugo Ortega is executive chef/co-owner of H Town Restaurant Group, a restaurant family which includes Backstreet Cafe, Hugo’s, Caracol and Xochi in Houston, Texas; a partner in Origen in Oaxaca, Mexico; and winner of Best Chef: Southwest at the prestigious 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards. (Ortega was a finalist for the award for six consecutive years, 2012–2017.) Ortega is the first Mexican-born chef to receive this coveted award.
Ortega was born in Mexico City, the oldest of a family of eight children. At 15, he began working at one of several Procter & Gamble factories in Mexico to help support his family. “In Mexico, we have a saying, ‘If you’re born poor, you’ll die poor,’” says the eldest Ortega. “I knew I wanted more from my life.”
In 1984, Ortega immigrated to Houston with a cousin and a friend. He had no contacts or job leads, but was determined to make a life for himself in America. “My family has always had a strong work ethic,” he says. “And I strongly believe that if you work hard, people will respect you.”
Slowly, step-by-step, Ortega began to set down roots in the bustling oil capitol. He shared an apartment with several friends, and followed up on leads for jobs in nearby restaurants. He was happy to find his first job, as a dishwasher, at a popular bar and nightclub. While the pay was meager, Ortega grabbed at the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the restaurant business and find contacts to help him improve his English.
Later, he moved on to a downtown Houston restaurant as busboy during the day and, at night, he cleaned the floors in office buildings to supplement his income. “I was fortunate to have two steady-paying jobs,” recalls Ortega. When his friends in Houston planned to move to California, he opted to stay in Houston. With an unexpected turn of bad luck, Ortega found himself without work.
“It was a very bad time for me,” Ortega remembers. “Most of my friends had moved away, I was out of work and afraid that I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent.” A friend took Hugo to Backstreet Cafe, where he found employment as a dishwasher/busboy. It was at Backstreet Cafe that, according to the chef, “the great opportunity of my life came.”
Tracy Vaught, owner of Backstreet Cafe and Prego, was impressed with Ortega’s positive attitude and willingness to learn. She thought he showed a great deal of promise and offered him a position on the line in the kitchen. He worked diligently, familiarizing himself with every aspect of the kitchen and was soon promoted to the kitchen at Prego, where he worked side-by-side with Executive Chef John Watt. Impressed by his hard work and dedication, Vaught offered to enroll Ortega in the Culinary Arts program at Houston Community College. He jumped in with both feet.
Immediately, the student chef impressed his instructors with his zeal to learn and his zest for work. Culinary Services Department Head John Abercrombie says he has always been impressed by Ortega’s intensity, dedication and creativity. “Hugo is a great all-around talent who receives great pleasure from his work,” says Abercrombie. “He is a group leader who leads by example, and we are very proud of his accomplishments.”
Backstreet Cafe’s menu is an eclectic one, and Ortega’s talented hand in its development is evident in some of cafe’s most popular dishes. Examples include a Roasted Lamb Loin in a Dijon-hazelnut crust, served with scalloped potatoes, a spinach timbal and tender baby carrots; Jumbo Sea Scallops, quickly seared and served with a red pepper polenta, spinach timbal and portobello mushrooms; and the Mixed Grill of duck breast, venison sausage and boneless quail with creamy polenta and marsala sauce.
Ortega graduated from HCC’s Culinary Arts program in November 1992 and assumed the role of chef at Backstreet Cafe; he became executive chef in 1995. The talented chef has made two guest chef appearances at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. In 1999, Ortega was named “Up-and-Coming Chef of the Year,” by My Table magazine; and one of the city’s top chefs in Inside Houston magazine. Among his professional affiliations, Ortega is a member of the national organization Chefs Collaborative 2000.
In July 2002, Ortega and Vaught opened a third restaurant concept, Hugo’s, serving Authentic Regional Mexican Cuisine. With the opening of Hugo’s, Ortega has journeyed full-circle to rediscover the true foods of his homeland. “This is the restaurant that I have dreamed of opening ever since I started my career in the restaurant business, even though I never realized it,” says Ortega. “I left Mexico for America as a teenager in search of a better life. Even though I was far from our home in Mexico City, I always carried Mexico in my heart.”
Since its opening, Hugo’s has been lauded by local, regional and national media, including being name a “Top Table” by Bon Appetit, and “Where to Eat Now in 30 American Cities” and one of the “Restaurants We Love” by Gourmet. In addition, Ortega’s poignant life story has been featured in print and electronic media, and is a source of inspiration for many.
Ortega was named Chef of the Year in 2002 and 2011 at the Houston Culinary Awards, and Hugo’s was named “Restaurant of the Year” in 2003 by both the Houston Press and My Table magazines. Ortega and Tracy Vaught were married in 1994, and in February 1997 they had their first child, Sophia Elizabeth. Ortega became a U.S. citizen in 1996.
Ortega published his first cookbook, Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico [Bright Sky Press, $34.95] in fall 2012. His brother Ruben, executive pastry chefs for both restaurants, worked with Hugo on the book, which features more than 100 recipes, from tacos to guisadas, salsas to dulces. The book features beautiful photography by award-winning photographer Penny de los Santos, who traveled to Mexico with the Ortega’s to capture the book’s images.
In 2013, Ortega and Vaught opened Caracol, a Coastal Mexican Kitchen, in the upscale Galleria area of Houston, which opened to rave reviews from diners and media alike. In the same year they also published their second cookbook, Backstreet Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes From Our Neighborhood Cafe, to celebrate Backstreet Cafe’s 30th anniversary.
In late January 2017, H Town Restaurant Group opened Xochi, in the new Marriott Marquis Houston Downtown. The highly anticipated restaurant celebrated the flavors of Oaxaca, Mexico.
There is nothing quite like the frenetic and fleeting seasonality of the upper Midwest to inspire a soulful cook. For Chef Gavin Kaysen, an old soul at heart, this idea beckoned him back home to Minneapolis to open Spoon and Stable, a 2015 James Beard Award Finalist for Best New Restaurant, in the North Loop neighborhood in fall 2014. “Cooking is very emotional for me; I have to cook how I feel,” Kaysen says. “There’s something to be said for how you feel emotionally as one season gives way to the next, when it snows, rains, or is sunny. I never thought about that growing up here, but coming back, I see that now.”
Even though the award-winning chef has cooked in top kitchens throughout the U.S. and Europe, Kaysen gravitates most toward traditional Heartland dishes—the kind he grew up eating and cooking. “I love the classics. Starting with my grandmother, we always cooked very classical American dishes, like pot roast and chicken. I’m taking the knowledge I have now to shift, change, and morph those at Spoon and Stable.”
The chef refined his dexterity in contemporary American fine dining by dedicating time to some of the world’s best restaurants. After graduating in 2001 from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT, Kaysen worked at Domaine Chandon in Yountville, CA; L’Auberge de Lavaux in Lausanne, Switzerland; and the famed L’Escargot in London, before becoming executive chef at El Bizcocho in San Diego, where he was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs. In late 2007, he joined Chef Daniel Boulud as chef de cuisine of Café Boulud in New York City, where he later earned the James Beard Rising Star Chef award and a coveted Michelin star. While there, he discovered so much more than tangible, technical skills. “It was like getting my master’s and PhD with Daniel and his organization,” he explains. “I learned so much about hospitality, about the business, cooking—but more importantly, I learned a lot about soulful food. When he cooks, it’s all about spontaneity, which I have discovered is how I really thrive, too.”
Today, Kaysen helps the next generation of young culinarians refine their skills in the kitchen. He is one of the founding mentors of the nonprofit ment’or BKB Foundation (formerly Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation), for which he currently serves as Team USA’s head coach in preparing for the famed biennial culinary competition that showcases the world’s best up-and-coming chefs. Kaysen brings an intimate knowledge of the Bocuse d’Or competition, as he proudly represented the U.S. in 2007. In 2015, he successfully led Team USA to a record-breaking Second Place victory, the first medal and podium placement for the United States. 2015 set the stage for future success, and in 2017 Team USA claimed first place for the very first time.
Bellecour, Kaysen’s second restaurant, opened in spring 2017. The French bistro is a nod to his friends and mentors Chefs Daniel Boulud and Paul Bocuse, as well as their time spent together in Lyon, France.
Kaysen lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons. In his spare time, he tends to the strawberries, peppers, zucchini, cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary, and tomatoes growing in his home garden.
Bissonnette earned his Culinary Arts degree from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale by the young age of 19 and spent his early 20s eating and cooking his way through Paris, San Francisco, New York and Phoenix.
After cooking in Europe and across the US, Bissonnette settled in Boston and began working in some of the city’s most notable kitchens. Following stints at a few highly regarded restaurants, Bissonnette opened Eastern Standard as executive chef in 2005. Next he was recruited for the steakhouse KO Prime, and that year in 2007, The Improper Bostonian named him “Rising Star Chef” and KO Prime “Best New Restaurant.” In 2008, Bissonnette joined Ken Oringer as executive chef and partner of the acclaimed tapas restaurant Toro in Boston’s South End and together in 2009 they opened the innovative Italian enoteca Coppa. StarChefs awarded Bissonnette Rising Star Chef that same year, and directly following Coppa was awarded 3 Stars in a rave review from the Boston Globe and honorable mention in Esquire’s Best New Restaurants annual list.
In 2011, Bissonnette was awarded the prestigious honor of Food & Wine magazine’s first ever People Choice Best New Chef. Since then, Bissonnette has been named Best Chef: Northeast at the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards. Bissonnette is a champion of nose-to-tail cuisine and is well-known locally and nationally for his exceptional charcuterie and passionate dedication to supporting local, sustainable purveyors. In September 2014, Jamie launched his debut cookbook—The New Charcuterie Cookbook: Exceptional Cured Meats to Make and Serve at Home, featuring a foreword by Andrew Zimmern. Additionally, Jamie is a past winner and current judge of the Cochon 555 nose-to-tail competition.
In Fall 2013, he opened Toro in New York City’s South Chelsea neighborhood and it was met with critical acclaim from The New York Times, New York Magazine and others. In 2016, Bissonnette and Oringer brought Toro overseas to their first international location in Bangkok, with Dubai up next in Fall 2017. The duo also debuted their first project in Cambridge, MA—Little Donkey—in Summer 2016, which received a glowing review from Boston Magazine and Restaurant of the Year in The Boston Globe.
As one of Boston’s most notable chefs and restaurateurs, chef Ken Oringer’s career began under Chef David Burke at River Café in New York City before moving to New England to work as the Pastry Chef at Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island and Jean Georges Vongerichten’s Le Marquis de Lafayette in Boston.
After spending time as the Chef de Cuisine at acclaimed San Francisco dining destination Silks in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Oringer returned to Boston in 1997 to open Clio. Clio was named “Best Newcomer of the Year” by Gourmet magazine and made John Mariani’s respected list of “America’s Best New Restaurants” in Esquire. The early success of Clio earned Oringer a James Beard Award nomination for Best Chef Northeast four years in a row, ultimately being honored with Best Chef Northeast in 2001. That same year Clio was named one of Gourmet magazine’s “Top 50 Restaurants in America.”
In 2002, Oringer opened Uni in the lounge of Clio; a sashimi bar offering the freshest seafood from Tokyo’s Tskuji market as well as local fisherman. Uni earned four stars from The Boston Herald and in 2008 was selected “Best Sushi Bar” by Boston Magazine. In 2005, Oringer opened Toro in Boston’s South End, a Barcelona-inspired tapas restaurant influenced from his travels throughout Spain. In April 2008, Oringer stepped into Kitchen Stadium on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America where he faced Iron Chef Cat Cora in a coffee battle, ultimately winning by four points.
In November 2009, Oringer together with partner Chef Jamie Bissonnette opened the highly anticipated Coppa, an Italian-style enoteca featuring Italian wines, an experimental cocktail list, and an inventive menu showcasing Oringer’s fearlessness with ingredients and his drive to constantly take risks. Coppa was awarded 3 stars by The Boston Globe and has earned both local and national attention since its debut honorable mention in John Mariani’s 2010 list of “Best New Restaurants” in Esquire magazine. In 2010, Oringer garnered the Star Chefs Rising Stars Mentor Award for his dedication to teaching and inspiring the next generation of chefs. In 2011, he opened Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine, which was met with critical acclaim. In the fall of 2013, he opened Toro in New York City’s South Chelsea neighborhood and it was met with critical acclaim from The New York Times, New York Magazine and others.
Following a nineteen year run in January 2016, Ken closed Clio and expanded his subterranean sashimi lounge, Uni. In Spring 2016, Oringer opened Toro Bangkok, and in Fall 2017 will open Toro Dubai, new outposts of his Barcelona-inspired tapas bar alongside Jamie Bissonnette. The duo also debuted their first project in Cambridge, MA—Little Donkey—in Summer 2016.
When he is not working, Oringer spends his time at home with his wife Celine, daughter Verveine and son, Luca.
Mexican Cook. Ruled by constant change. Always exploring. Finding joy in making people happy.
On 2000, after four years studying at the NY’s Culinary Institute of America, he came back to Mexico City to open his first restaurant, Pujol. From there, he proposes a new approach to Mexican cuisine based on the vast universe of ingredients that the country provides, mixing both contemporary and age-old techniques in every instance. Pujol, considered the mothership, has been recently relocated to a new and bigger space which houses a whole different concept, including a kitchen garden and an Omakase Taco Bar.
His constant experimentation, added to a passion for details and the care that underlies the process as well as the products he uses, have translated into discoveries that Olvera shares with diners at Pujol and in his other culinary projects. In the relaxed ambience of his Eno cafés - with four branches in Mexico City - visitors discover simple but savory menus that change with every sea-son. At Moxi—in San Miguel de Allende—ingredients go directly from local farms to diner’s tables. In Manta—Los Cabos—foregrounds delicacies that come from Mexico’s coasts.
At Cosme—in Manhattan, and his first incursion into the United States—Mexican corn, beans and chiles combine harmoniously with local Hudson Valley products, creating a very authentic proposal, captivating local palates. He is soon to open his second restaurant in NY -Atla- more focused on a relaxed and comforting cooking style.
Olvera published his first book, UNO in 2010, which describes the philosophy behind his cooking and the state of Mexican cuisine. His second book, En la milpa focuses on a Mexican agricultural technique where waste is minimized and everything serves a purpose – a practice he takes very seriously. His most recent book, Mexico from the Inside Out, features recipes “defined by his dedication to detail and his fearless palate”, as described by the New York Times.
Photo Credits: Ludo Lefebvre by Lionel Deluy; Jamie Bissonnette by Josh Andrus; Ken Oringer by Noah Fecks; John Shields by Galdones Photography; Hugo Ortega by Debora Smail