Gordon Ramsay wasn't the only celebrity chef running in yesterday's marathon. Chef Ludo Lefebvre, king of L.A.'s pop-up restaurant scene and soon-to-be-appearing again on Top Chef Masters in April, decided to train and enter this year, despite having just eight days before the event. We caught up with Ludo this morning as he readied his tools and team for tonight's guest-appearance at Akasha, and asked him how he prepared for his second Marathon (he ran in 2003) and what rich foods he had to give up to prepare. The answers might surprise you, though they still reveal the improvisational, put-up-or-shut-up spirit that makes the chef's cooking and creativity a local favorite. Speaking of which, the chef reveals that he might have stumbled onto an idea to get local foodies in there next year. Take a look at our interview with chef Ludo, 24 hours after running over 26 miles and still ticking.
You didn't have much time to train, so tell us about your regimen.
Last week was my first and only training week. I decided to run the marathon 8 days before. Saturday, I ran 12 miles, then Sunday six. On Monday, I worked out with my trainer with weights and did 5 miles on the treadmill, then Tuesday I ran eight miles in the sand, barefoot. Wednesday, I relaxed with a 12 mile bike ride on the beach cruiser, then Thursday went on a 15 mile run. On Friday and Saturday, I did a couple hours of stretching each day and just eating.
What did you have to give up eating or change about your diet?
I did not give up anything. I went to Providence last Saturday night, Thursday I went to a birthday party at the Beverly Hilton for a private dinner in the wine store and Friday night I had a wonderful meal at Petrossian by Ben Bailly. I did cut back a "little bit" on my wine intake, but I mostly just added more carbs to my diet and a big protein shake each morning with fresh fruit. Now it's time to change my diet and cut back on some carbs.
Was there any point where you thought you'd have to quit?
No, I felt great this year. I started the marathon with a friend who runs slower than me because I did not want to hurt myself because I did not know how my body was going to react with only eight days prep. At mile fifteen, I was feeling so good and my friend was starting to go down, so I said "good luck" and picked up the pace. I felt bad to leave him, but I really wanted to challenge myself. The marathon is something that really makes you push yourself.
It was really amazing to see how everyone came together for this one event. There is so much fighting in the world, to just see people support each other on the street, the volunteers and the people cheering us on really gave me chicken skin at some points. Why can't the world get along together like this everyday? So many cultures coming together for one spectacular event. It was really something magic.
When did you finish?
5:19:03. It was about 45 minutes slower than my first marathon, but I am still proud that I finished, feel great today, and did not get hurt. I think next year I am going to run an eight-day Marathon training boot camp. Fine food and wine never hurt anyone.
After bringing his fried chicken to Askasha tonight, Chef Ludo will begin a seven week stretch of his LudoBItes pop-up on April 8th.