Press Release – 10/11/12

Chef Ludo Lefebvre at 2012 Garagiste Festival 

Chef Ludo Lefebvre goes ‘garagiste’ with six course LudoBites Garagiste Winemaker Dinner at Thomas Hill Organics to kick off 2012 Garagiste Festival; featuring wines from Alta Colina Vineyards, Bon Niche Cellars, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Cutruzzola Vineyards, La Filice Winery and Von Holt Wines 

Paso Robles, CA – October 11, 2012 – The Garagiste Festival, the first and only festival dedicated to discovering and promoting artisan ‘garagiste*’ winemakers, today announced that world-renowned master chef Ludovic Lefebvre will guest chef a garagiste winemaker dinner, Thursday, November 8th to kick-off the 2012 Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles. Lefebvre has been named one of the world’s top-50 chefs and is famous for his wildly popular LudoBites ‘pop-up’ restaurants. He will match his six-course menu with wines of garagiste winemakers who are pouring at the festival. The LudoBites Garagiste Dinner will be hosted at Paso Robles’ Thomas Hill Organics, one of the rising stars of the Central Coast restaurant scene.

Lefebvre has been widely credited with starting the ‘pop-up’ restaurant phenomenon with his LudoBites restaurants, which have no permanent address or phone number.  They literally pop-up in existing restaurants and spaces, sell out instantly, and routinely crash reservation systems due to the high demand for seats — all of which led Fox News to name LudoBites one of the ten most difficult ‘restaurant’ reservations in the U.S. Pulitzer prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold calls LudoBites the ‘kitchen of a genius;’ the New York Times says ‘every plate is a piece of art’, and Time Magazine named Lefebvre “the Chef of the Future.”

“We could not imagine a more perfect philosophical and epicurean match for our amazing garagiste winemakers than Chef Ludo who, like them, has broken a few rules on his way to creating dishes that every year are on food critics’ top ten lists,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Stewart McLennan.  “We are honored that he has chosen to create this special dinner as part of the 2012 Garagiste Festival.  His presence helps further our goal of bringing attention to the garagiste movement and its remarkable and passionate winemakers.”

“As a fan of all things guerilla and grassroots in the world of wine and food, I am thrilled to be a part of The Garagiste Festival and look forward to creating a menu that highlights the unique tastes and stunning wines of the region’s artisan producers,” said Lefebvre.

For the LudoBites Garagiste dinner menu, Lefebvre will work in conjunction with Chef Julie Simon from Thomas Hill Organics, and each course will be paired with wines that represent the diversity and rebel spirit of the 48 garagistes pouring at the festival: Alta Colina Vineyards, Bon Niche Cellars, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Cutruzzola Vineyards, La Filice Winery and Von Holt Wines. Seats at the dinner are extremely limited and will go on sale Thursday, October 18th. Only members of the Garagiste Festival mailing list will get the invite with exact sale details. To sign up go to

Before introducing his LudoBites pop-up restaurant events in Los Angeles, Chef Ludovic Lefebvre was the executive chef at L’Orangerie and Bastide, two of LA’s most famous and luxurious restaurants. There he established a reputation for his ability to combine Old World simplicity and New World imagination in innovative dishes that tantalized diners’ taste buds. Chef Ludo is the only chef in Los Angeles who has received the prestigious Mobil Travel Guide Five Star Award at two different restaurants in 1999, 2000 and 2006. By his mid-30s, he was named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Chefs by Relais & Chateaux and was nominated by the James Beard Foundation for a Rising Star Chef Award. Ludo has been on Top Chef Masters, Iron Chef America and The Today Show and had his own show on The Sundance Channel last year called Ludo Bites America, where he did 1-night, pop-up dinners in towns across America featuring a local restaurant and regional cuisine.  His new cookbook, “LudoBites: Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre” was released on October 9th.

The 2012 Garagiste Festival showcases high-quality, cutting-edge, small production wineries that produce fewer than 1,200 cases a year and comprises four days of tastings, winemaker seminars and events during Garagiste Festival weekend November 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th in Paso Robles. Named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News,** the non-profit festival benefits the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

Local artisan suppliers who have donated products to the LudoBites Garagiste Dinner include Ranchers Alliance, whose mission is to bring back and support traditional ranching and farming practices; Pier46 Seafood, which brings sustainable and local seafood’s from artisan fishermen to the community; and Dark Nectar Roasting, whose goal is to turn wine connoisseurs into coffee connoisseurs.


The Garagistes

Artisan winemakers slated to showcase their wines at the 2012 Garagiste Festival include Aaron Wines, Alta Colina Vineyards, Ambyth Estate, Anglim Winery, Argot Wines, Barton Family, Bodega de Edgar, Bodegas M, Bon Niche Cellars, Caliza Winery, Cayucos Cellars, Center of Effort, Changala Winery, Cloak and Dagger Wines, Cutruzzola Vineyards, Edmond August Wines, Filipponi Ranch Cellars, Giornata, Ground Effect Wines, Henson Wines, J Dusi, Jacob Toft, JK Wine Company, Kaleidos Winery, La Filice, Les Deux Chats, Liquid Farm, Luminesce, Nicora, Paix Sur Terre, Paso Port Wines, Per Cazo Cellars, Pipestone Vineyards, Ranchero Cellars, Rangeland Wines, Red Zeppelin Winery, Rendarrio Vineyards, Sinor La Vallee, St. Hilaire, Stage Left Cellars, STANGER Vineyards, Thomas Alexander Wines, Two Shepherds, Vin Alegre, Vines on the Marycrest, Von Holt Wines, Westberg Cellars and Zin Alley.

Last year’s festival sold out and the 2012 festival is expected to sell out early. To buy tickets go to  To be alerted for breaking news about additional Garagiste events, details about sales for the LudoBites at Thomas Hill Organics dinner, to learn more about The Garagiste Festival, and to get the latest event info, sign-up for The Dirt at Or follow us on Twitter (@PasoGaragiste).

Sponsors for The Garagiste Festival include: Airspeed Wireless, Cass Catering, Clever Concepts, Central Coast Tent and Party, Distinctive Glassware, 15c Wine Shop & Bar, Glenn Burdette, KCBX, KCOY/KION, Kirk Consulting, Krush92.5, La Bellasera, Safe Haven Wine Services, Tasting Panel Magazine, Travel Paso Alliance, Vintners Vault, mWEBB Communications, Windfall Farms, Wine Country Pack & Ship and XpressFill.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact or go to

*Garagistes (gar-uh-zhē-stuh) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. Click here for more info and proper ‘garagiste’ pronunciation:

**ABC News Online, May 31, 2012:

About The Garagiste Festival

The Garagiste Festival ( is the first and only wine festival dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. The Garagiste Festival was named one of the “Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations” by ABC News.  Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festival is committed to fostering the spirit of free exchange of ideas and encouragement that has made Paso Robles one of the friendliest, most successful and innovative wine-making communities in the world. The festival is produced by Garagiste Events, a non-profit dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry.  Proceeds from 2011’s sold-out festival were donated to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.


Media Contact:

mWEBB Communications for The Garagiste Festival

Melanie Webber,

Crystal Hartwell,