You’d be hard-pressed to find a busier chef in Los Angeles than Ludo Lefebvre. In addition to juggling four restaurants—Trois Mec, Petit Trois, Trois Familia and Ludo Bird, the French chef, restaurateur, author and TV personality also plays husband to his wife, Krissy, and father to two five-year-old twins, Luca and Rêve.
And while his kitchens will always be demanding, family comes first. “You have to just make time for family. It has to be a priority,” the proud papa tells us. We asked the self-proclaimed impresario of pop-up dining about his Father’s Day plans, how he finds time for fatherhood and what he’s secretly hoping to receive come June 19. He also shared his top picks for dads who cook.
How do you prioritize being a family guy? Are there activities you make sure to always do together?
Ludo Lefebvre: Except when I am out of town, we have breakfast every morning as a family. It is not as idealistic as it may sound, because it also involves the craziness of getting two five-year-olds out the door to school, but it is our special 1.5 hours of each day. Also, I drive the kids to school whenever I can.
Based on how you designed your kitchen, it’s obvious that you love to cook with your kids.
LL: I love to cook with my kids. I think it is so important to teach them early on about the love for food, building a healthy relationship with it and learning how to love to cook. Luca is a natural and you can’t keep him out of the kitchen. Rêve is not totally into it—she is funny and says she will just watch me and Luca.
— Krissy Lefebvre (@FrenchChefWife) June 1, 2016
How do you plan on spending this Father’s Day?
LL: Unfortunately, this year I will be in France filming Mind of a Chef, so that’s a bit of a bummer. But the kids have told me they are already working on my presents and a special song at school. It is so cute. We have had a tradition each year that Krissy makes fish tacos on Father’s Day; we will do it when I get back! I won’t let her off that easy.
Aww. OK, so you won’t be L.A. for the holiday, but what’s something you’d secretly love to receive as a gift from your kids?
LL: A book of hiking trails throughout California. I know it’s not food related, but I want to experience nature with my kids and I need a little bit of a guide.
Ludo’s Top 5 Father’s Day Gift Picks for Dads Who Cook
We asked Chef Ludo to put on his gift-giving hat and offer up some advice for what to surprise other pops with this Father’s Day. Here are his suggestions.
A Cooking Class
I think the best thing you can give a father who loves to cook is an experience. Give him a cooking class—even better, one with his kid. You can check out mine if you’re in L.A.; I do one four times a year through the Priceless program for MasterCard.
A Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
A cast-iron Le Creuset Dutch oven is a forever gift, and probably the most versatile piece of cookware that exists. You can roast, sear, bake, make soups, basically do anything in it, and cast iron is really easy to clean.
A Set of Knives on a Magnetic Strip
You can never go wrong with a really good knife. I think the Global set of four knives with the magnetic strip is cool for a dad who cooks at home but really wishes he were in a restaurant. The magnetic strip is like what we use in our restaurants! Or, with summer barbecue season coming up, a great set of steak knives that the whole family can use.
Breville’s Induction Cooker
If you really want to impress a father who loves to cook, go all out and get him the Breville Control Freak Induction Cooker. I have one and swear by it! It’s portable and completely kid safe—no flames, no danger.
A Silicone Baking Sheet
A man will not know how much he needs or wants a Silpat silicone baking sheet until he has one. The baking sheet is so practical and something that most people don’t think about, plus it makes cleaning easy. Also, it is made in France, so you know what I am saying…
How do you plan to honor the incredible fathers in your lives? Let us know in the comments below, or by sharing on social media with the hashtag #EveryDad.