How I Gather

Bringing people together around a table is our greatest passion in life and we believe food is one of the most powerful tools for connection. In our series, How I Gather we go behind the scenes with our favorite foodies to answer that question.  See All

Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher have come a long way since their time working the restaurant business in New York City. Today, this culinary-inclined couple is settled in Texas with not one but two businesses servicing the ever-growing Austin food community. The duo opened Lenoir in 2012 (which was named the best restaurant in Austin in 2014 — no biggie), and just as this restaurant has redefined the way Austinites dine, Métier Cook Supply next door has changed how how we shop. We met up with the talented (and hilarious) couple a few weeks ago to get a taste of their entertaining style, and since this party took place in between the cookbook-lined walls of Métier itself, it’s one you won’t want to miss…

*photography by Kate LeSueur


My must-have entertaining tool:

An eclectic vinyl record collection.


The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

Detroit Cobras, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight and Dolly Parton.


Your current favorite color palette for parties:

Oranges, yellows and reds. Bright, happy colors because it’s grey outside.


Always in my refrigerator:

Hot sauce, pickles, mustard and beer. We make a lot of pickles at the restaurant, but not at home. We love buying all sorts of pickled and fermented things from local folks, like Dai Due. Boggy Creek, etc. My favorite all-time pickle came as a gift from Ty Wolosin at Windy Hill Farm, which were half sours. I wish he sold them! And since we put hot sauce on everything, We keep an assortment around the house for every type of mean. The White Label brand out of Austin is outstanding, but we definitely have Louisiana brand, Crystal, Sriracha, Sambal, etc.


Favorite beer to serve:

It depends on the weather, but we like to keep it local, like Hops and Grain, Austin Beerworks, and Jester King.


pictured here: This French table is actually the same table Todd grew up with. The vintage dining table and benches date to the 1850s and were once among his mother’s entertaining essentials. Today, it lives at Métier and now serves as the surface for many of Jess and Todd’s dinner parties.

My standard hostess outfit:

Something comfortable so I can hold and nurse my son easily and still look presentable. Our parties always include a lot of children these days.

What scares you about entertaining? 

I worry that I won’t relax and enjoy the party.


Taste I’m always craving: 

Champagne! We both likes less-aged, Cremant-style Champagnes that are tasty and yeasty and dry and pair well with food.


A typical dinner party with Todd and Jess includes fellow foodies and chefs where everyone pitches in. Todd prepares the meats and Jess the sweets, while guests supply the sides.

My signature entertaining dish: 

Jess: Usually pie! I love making slab pies because I think they’re fun and look great being served at a party.

Where did you learn to bake?

Jess: I learned to love baking from my mom, who bakes constantly and gives away baked goods as gifts. Then I really learned to bake from working in restaurants, and didn’t make a pie on my own until years after I started cooking professionally.


The entertaining rule I rarely break:

Always have way more food than you need.

Click here to get the recipe for Todd’s Everything Toast with Cauliflower and Black Olive Oil


My dream dinner party guests:

My friends and family. All the people that make me laugh.


The restaurant meal you’ll never forget:

Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain. It was for my birthday. Juan Mari Arzak was there and signed a cookbook for me. Then he gave us a tour of the kitchen after a four hour meal. It was pretty exceptional.


My entertaining style in 5 words or less:

Keep it simple and tasty.

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Comments (6)
  1. 1
    The Office Stylist February 17, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Great pics! Love it!!

    The Office Stylist
    http://www.theofficestylist.com

    Reply
  2. 2
    Karin February 17, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    I love those types of articles….no fuss, but still interesting ideas,, great food, and a new place to shop…

    Reply
    • Olivia Turgeon February 18, 2015 at 11:21 am

      Yes, definitely worth checking out! A store with a great story behind it… and great meal awaiting next door!!

      Reply
  3. 3
    Avalon McKenzie February 18, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    I love Métier! Such a beautiful selection of cookbooks and vintage. Love the spread!

    Reply
  4. 4
    Travis Weige February 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Very cool article! These are great guys and have helped my custom knife business a great deal in the early days!

    Reply
  5. 5
    Chef Brandon Scawthorn - Food Network -Rachael vs Guy Kids Cook-Off -Season 1 Winner February 23, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    As child chef, I appreciated being taken seriously by the staff at Metier’s. Other places ignored me.

    Reply