When Michelin-star chef Ludo Lefebvre bought a new house in Los Angeles, updating the kitchen was key. However, we’re not talking about inside the house! This beautiful 15-foot outdoor kitchen boasts all of the bells and whistles: the flagship DCS 48″ Series 9 Grill in the center, the brand’s 30″ Griddle and Power Burner to the right, bug and rodent-proof storage solutions, and cooling drawers for the storage of beverages and food. 

Designer Marie Flanigan included areas to store extra dishware and spices, so the space is perfect for Chef Ludo and his family’s L.A. lifestyle. Today, we’re thrilled to snag a few of the chef’s top tips for outdoor grilling and entertaining.

What is a must-have item for you when you get ready to prepare something on your DCS grill?

A spray bottle of olive oil or grapeseed oil is a MUST. Being able to add a “little bit” of fat while you cook is a little secret of mine. Plus, it is a great way to give a nice char to whatever you are grilling without risking burning your food.

For a full outdoor kitchen, do you have tips on how to get the most out of your appliances – i.e., use the grill for main dish, griddle for side dish and power burner for accompanying sauces? 

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. In a full outdoor kitchen like mine, there are so many cooking surfaces and anything is possible. You can cook 3 chickens on the rotisserie, fill up a sheet pan of potatoes and put underneath the tray to collect the dripping. Butter up some Texas toast and cook them up on the griddle, while using the power burner to fry up some French fries. 

What component of your outdoor kitchen is the biggest helping hand when entertaining? 

 The refrigerator drawers for sure!!! We live in the hills of the Valley in Los Angeles, which means it is about 10 degrees hotter than the already very hot Valley temperatures. Being able to have cold beverages outside for everyone is a must!! Plus, I can also keep the cheese and veggies for the burgers chilling while I cook the patties.

What’s the best thing about having outdoor refrigeration in your outdoor space?

Besides having cold drinks for everyone, it is great to be able to have all your mise en place within arm’s reach. I like to designate one drawer for beverages and one drawer to keep my mise en place safely chilled. The drawers allow me to spend more time with my friends and family because the entire kitchen is now outside and we know how much everyone likes to hang out in the kitchen.

As an avid-griller, do you have a favorite cool beverage that is always by your side while cooking? 

There are two answers, while I am cooking and in full prep mode, it is Pellegrino, nothing like a refreshing sparkling water. But as the work winds up and it definitely time to break open a great bottle of rosé and enjoy the day.