DF+WF Event: Grand Tasting
James Beard Award finalist and Michelin starred chef Ludo Lefebvre joins Thompson Denver as the culinary visionary behind Chez Maggy— the hotel’s signature restaurant, where French brasserie meets Mile High style. This is the internationally acclaimed chef’s first restaurant outside of Los Angeles, where he currently oversees both locations of Petit Trois. At his new outpost, Lefebvre leans into his roots, serving classic French fare, as well as playful Colorado-inspired plates, at the luxury boutique hotel’s 90-seat restaurant. He also oversees in-room dining across the 216-room property, bringing comforting, home-cooked style dishes (like long-developed fluffy pancakes and hearty pastas) to the guestrooms.
Chez Maggy is named in honor of Lefebvre’s late mother-in-law, Margaret, a Colorado native who tragically died after being struck by a drunk driver in 2019. The restaurant is an homage to “Maggy,” to the region where his wife Krissy grew up (and their family calls a “second” home to this day), and Chef’s French heritage—as demonstrated in his blend of signature French style and elements and ingredients native to the Denver and greater Colorado area. The menu reflects his tastefully understated and unique approach to classic French cuisine, with dishes inspired by the many regions throughout France, from Duck L’Orange and Escargot to various takes on Steak Frites—and, of course, a Frenchified “Denver Omelette.”
Hailing from Burgundy, Lefebvre spent 12 years training and learning alongside many of the great masters of French cooking, including Alain Passard, Marc Meneau, Pierre Gagnaire, and Guy Martin. In 1996, he moved to the United States and began his career in Los Angeles, first at the iconic L’Orangerie then at Bastide, where he was quickly acknowledged for his deft culinary approach. In 2007, Ludo branched out on his own with the launch of LudoBites, a multi-city restaurant tour credited for igniting the pop-up restaurant phenomenon and leading to his title as the “pop-up king.” He later debuted the “LudoTruck,” where his take on fried chicken fueled block-long lines and inspired a brick-and-mortar location, LudoBird, at the Staples Center.
Lefebvre returned to his “refined” dining roots in 2013 and opened Trois Mec, a 28-seat restaurant in the heart of Los Angeles, followed by his “bar a la carte” concept, Petit Trois, in 2014. Having debuted two of the hottest—and hardest to score—reservation destinations in town, he continued to revolutionize the Southern California culinary scene, earning national recognition and multiple awards and accolades for himself and his restaurants. Top nods included Petit Trois as a finalist in the James Beard Awards’ “Best New Restaurant” category and a coveted Michelin star for Trois Mec. While his two restaurants flourished, Ludo opened Petit Trois’s second location in 2018, which later received a Michelin Bib Gourmand award.
Lefebvre has been named one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Chefs” by Relais & Chateaux and was a James Beard Award finalist for “Rising Star Chef,” “Best Chef West,” and “Best Culinary Program” (for his hosting role on PBS’s TV series “Mind of Chef”). In December 2015, Lefebvre received the prestigious “Chevalier de Arts des Lettres” award from his home country of France—awarded to French citizens who have “significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance.” He starred in three seasons of ABC’s hit cooking competition show “The Taste” and, in the fall of 2021, he will star alongside Natasha Leggero in TBS’s new “who dunnit” cooking competition, “Rat in the Kitchen.” He is also 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.
A long-time fan of Thompson Hotels, Lefebvre is excited to share his French culture and signature cuisine with the Mile High City through his partnership with Thompson Denver. When he is not in his restaurants, he enjoys spending time with his wife Krissy and 10-year-old twins, hanging out at the Los Angeles ice rinks supporting his kids who both play on a travel ice hockey team.