Born and raised in Richardson, Texas, Todd Duplechan, co-owner and executive chef of Lenoir and co-owner of Métier’s Cook Supply, alongside wife Jessica Maher, was exposed to a wide range of cuisines as a child. While his parents divorced when he was young, he developed a love for food from both sides of the family. His mother’s side regularly hosted weekend family cookouts and his father’s always cooked at home, including the turtles and rabbits his family raised, and introduced him to an assortment of ethnic restaurants around Dallas. Because of this, Duplechan knew he always had a passion for food, which would eventually lead him to open Lenoir and Métier’s Cook Supply with Maher in Austin.
Duplechan’s initial training for his culinary craft came from his family and from working. Starting early as a teenager, Duplechan worked at Solly’s BBQ in Dallas, a family friend’s business, where he absolutely loved every minute of it. He made the move to Colorado, where he originally had his sights set on being an architect, but alas, cooking just felt like the natural fit for him. Working a few years at various sushi restaurants, Duplechan started to develop his culinary career professionally. He received his Associate’s Degree at the Art Institute of Denver’s culinary school, and upon graduation, worked under a sushi master for two years at Tommy Tsunami’s in Denver and then as a sous chef at Sambuca, at both the Denver and Atlanta locations. Expanding his horizons, Duplechan traveled to Europe for six months, where he worked at an olive farm in Tuscany and in guest services in Corfu, Greece, before moving to Grand Cayman where he took on the position of a hotel chef. A year and a half later, Duplechan returned stateside to New York City to work at Danube and Tabla, and eventually as executive sous chef under James Beard nominated Dan Kluger at The Core Club. Duplechan met wife, Jessica Maher, in the shared locker room of Danube and Bouley, where Maher worked. They spent many a night at nearby bar, Reade Street Pub & Kitchen, during after-work hours with other kitchen staff. The two eventually moved to Austin, where Duplechan was hired as the opening chef of the Four Seasons Hotel’s Trio restaurant, until he and Maher opened Lenoir in 2012.
Since opening Métier’s Cook Supply in August 2014, Duplechan divides his time between Metier and Lenoir. At Métier, Duplechan chats with customers about knives and cookware, and he acts as house knife sharpener, teaching monthly classes on knife sharpening and skills in the store. In addition, he is the house expert on cast iron, taking worn-down cast iron pots and pans and refurbishing them to nearly new. Typically opening the store in the morning and working until the afternoon, he then heads to Lenoir next door to prep and run the pass for the evening, or cook for a scheduled private event. As executive chef at Lenoir, Duplechan creates the menu with his team, and works with the cooks on development on the line. Tasks vary from day to day, including picking up produce at the farmers’ market and cleaning up the landscaping. He also serves as both the store and restaurant’s handyman – within reason, until it requires professional help. Duplechan prides himself on his work ethic, willing to learn about and work toward almost anything. He puts his creativity to use in his everyday work, never satisfied with what he produces and constantly working on self-improvement. Among his mentors, he counts Floyd Cardoz, former chef and owner of Tabla, as well as Dan Kluger, former chef de cuisine of Tabla, chef of The Core Club, and most recently the chef of ABC Kitchen. Both taught him a great deal about cooking and organization, as well as talent development – something he is still working on.
When not talking customers’ ears off about the latest Japanese knife in stock at Métier or working on the seasonal menu at Lenoir, Duplechan enjoys fishing, hunting, biking and playing guitar. He and Maher also have two boys, Remy and Hollis, and a shepherd mix named Dodger, who keep them plenty busy. As a growing city with a vibrant culture, Duplechan chose Austin because of the opportunities it offers, including opening a restaurant.