Talking ABC’s The Taste and Petit Trois with Vanessa Lauren and Ludo Lefebvre

Ludo Lefebvre and Vanessa Lauren

If you’ve been following the third season of The Taste on ABC, you’re familiar with contestant Vanessa Lauren of Team Bourdain. Eliminated on last week’s semi-finale (ep. 6), Vanessa has somewhat since defected to Team Ludo – in the sense that since taping this season’s episodes, she’s been in Ludo Lefebvre’s kitchens at Trois Mec and now Petit Trois. I sat down with Vanessa Lauren and Chef Ludo the other day in anticipation of The Taste finale, which airs tonight.

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Ringing In 2009 From Times Square

Whenever New Year’s rolls around, the standard around Los Angeles (and most other cities, I’m sure) is a bleed-through-the-nose per person cover – to one of tons of generic parties going on around the city. And that’s not even including drinks. This is just setting myself up for disappointment. So when Tara said she could get me a VIP Pass to an indoor venue *at* Times Square, it was an easy decision. The ball drop live – without waiting for hours in the cold to stake out a spot? I was ready to book a flight to New York City, stat.

It was the New Year’s celebration taking place at 44th and 6th on the bottom floor of ABC Studios – where they broadcast Good Morning America – and Pepsi, with their RefreshEverything campaign, was the sponsor. Stoked. Tara and I met up first and we had the pleasure of meeting and partying the night up with NY Gothamist cats, Neil Epstein and Jen Chung, and their significant others.

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