Last week Chef Ludo Lefebvre brought a tasty new spin on NC 'Cue. My awesome pal Jordan got us a reservation, and when she geeked out over seeing Chef Ludo, she may have gotten on TV too! Here's hoping...the episode airs in July, I think, so someone DVR it and tell me if you see us.
But, really it was about the food. Chef Ludo spent some time in Raleigh & Chapel hill learning from some of our best pitmasters - Ed Mitchell (The Pit BBQ) and Keith Allen (Allen & Sons) - to learn exactly how we do barbeque in North Carolina. And Chef Ludo got the heart of what we do perfectly in the poached egg, mashed potato, and BBQ bowl. The beauty in the perfectly poached egg is ineffable. I don't know how we haven't thought of putting poached eggs and barbeque together already! If someone doesn't put that on a menu somewhere, I'm going to be very disappointed.
The most interesting course I saw was the fried pig ears. Gravy was packed, so we were seated at the bar and made friends with our neighbors. They ordered the fried pig ears with the chili & lime mayo dip and let us taste it. Honestly, to me, the pig ears tasted like Fruit Loops. Let me tell you what kind of conversation that'll start; the bartender & our neighbors all started talking at that point. Seriously, the fried pig ear without any dipping sauce had a fruity taste to it. Since it was seriously crunchy, it just had the taste & texture of Fruit Loops. And after discovering the Pop Rocks in the banana pudding, I have a feeling I might not be too far off in describing those pork ears.
Thankfully we got to taste our neighbor's pig ears so we didn't order that appetizer but instead ordered both desserts. A bacon créme brulee and a banana/bread pudding like dish. The bacon creme brulee was beyond words fantastic. While I'm a firm believe in both bacon and creme brulee, this dish was other-worldly. And to my pride's benefit, the TV cameras didn't catch this photogenic moment.
We did get to chat with Chef Ludo for a minute, but honestly, accents aren't my thing. I don't understand thick accents at all. He yelled at the kitchen once or twice and I couldn't make out a word he said. Pitmaster Ed Mitchell was gracious and said nothing but great things about Chef Ludo, so maybe if his "Ludo Bites America" TV show doesn't take off, he'll come back to NC for more BBQ and beer.