About Leo Lamprides
I’m also a husband, a father, an oceanman, and a student of life. I am not the best with words but I have many stories to tell, so I tell them through my actions, and cooking for others is the action of my choice. Born and raised in San Diego, I came to LA to with one objective in mind - cook. Yet LA offered me not only an expansive culinary world to explore, but also great inspirations, and a partner in life. In 2010, while training under Chef David LeFevre, who still remains one of my biggest inspirations of soulful cooking, I met a new girl next door on the rooftop of the arts district loft where I lived. Little did I know at the time, that this Chinese girl was going to be my companion in culinary adventures, my tour guide to the one of the most fascinating culinary cultures, and my partner in life. She is Helen, my wife and my teammate. Helen is from Beijing. She learned to cook by being around the kitchen as a little girl. After we started dating, cooking and munching together in the wee hours of the morning after my restaurant shift became a daily part of life. And it was during this time the seed of Chinese Laundry was silently laid. Helen would take something I started and process it with a Chinese cooking technique, and sometimes we’d surprise ourselves with the result. Our experimentations turned into dinner parties. Soon we began to cater small private events for people around us, and eventually we moved out of our shared loft space into our own space, where we gutted out the unit and built our customized kitchen and dining room. We quit our jobs, and started an underground supper club, hosting regular pop-up tasting dinner as Dehesa Project. But this is not a fairy tale I’m telling. Just as our little operation was beginning to build some steam, we were shut down by our landlord. Broke and with a wedding in the calendar, reality sent me back to the kitchen, this time as a sous chef at the then brand new restaurant Faith and Flower, where I was able to further my training under the great mentor and another one of my culinary inspirations, Chef Michael Hung. The intensity of running a lean team in a busy restaurant prepared me for the journey I was not ready to give up on. After a year and half at Faith and Flower, when my wife was two weeks away from giving birth to our son, I handed in my notice once again to go back to building our dream. This time, we borrowed a small amount of money, just enough to buy a 30 year old food truck. We call it the Chinese Laundry, and we are making Chinese fusion in a way that tells our personal story of faith, patience, passion, and respect. Today, I am working with my wife again, taking her family recipes along with our favorites from our travels, re-interpreting them through our backgrounds and experiences, and turning them into bites and slices of our personal story - a story of faith, patience, passion, and respect. We are the Chinese Laundry, and we invite you to into our life, to taste our story, and to become a part of it.