Husband and wife team, Chefs Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher, opened LENOIR in Austin with two big ideas: to help build a strong culinary community, and to redefine the food style of Austin. All the while raising a family that’s soon to expand. Needless to say, they have a lot on their plate!
In the video you’ll hear more about their story but also Jessica has advice to other women working in the world of food and wine…
Among Austin’s elite since its inception in early 2012, LENOIR is located in the trendy Boulder Creek neighborhood right off of S. 1st Street. Goodtaste caught up with Jessica for a glass of vino (Purple Cowboy) and a chat on Women’s History Month and the current state of women leaders in the restaurant business. What does it take to make it in such a challenging, male-dominated industry?
Jessica feels as though it can be difficult, at times, balancing life’s expectations with her two (as she puts it) equally important jobs: LENOIR and ‘Mom’. The couple share an adorable three-year old son, who makes more than just the occasional appearance at his parents’ New American eatery.
LENOIR prides itself on Hot Weather Food; food that makes sense with the dry Texas climate and adapts as seasons change. It’s important, Jessica says, that they look to local ingredients from local farms and ranches…fish from the Gulf — the very best of what’s growing in our own backyard that’s available.
Their menu is always in flux and forever evolving.
You’ll find pork, quail, and rabbit. Other times wild boar or antelope, perhaps goat. There’s an appreciable diligence to the way their food is prepared, resulting in a flavor profile that’s as acidic and citrusy as it is brothy and spicy. Everything is light, and made with very little butter, cream and gluten.
Any advice, we ask Jessica, for the ladies of kitchen?
“Identify what you want – and go after it!”