Austin’s TRIO Restaurant Offers a Taste of Texas
Todd Duplechan is bringing a new sophistication to the cuisine of the Lone Star State.
While Todd Duplechan was pondering a career, a friend in Denver suggested he consider culinary school, since he liked to cook. Now the Chef de Cuisine at TRIO, Austin’s premier restaurant for a contemporary twist on steak, Duplechan adds that it was a logical step, since he’d been cooking at home from a young age, and his first job was at a barbecue joint in his hometown, Dallas.
Learning on an Olive Farm in Tuscany
After graduation, his gastronomic curiosity took him to Europe. Through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, he made connections with an olive farm in Tuscany, where he spent eight months learning about the production of olive oil and Italy’s culinary legacy.
Working on the 600-year-old olive farm also reinforced early lessons from his father—an “old-school” gardener who composted long before it was trendy—on the art of making things grow.
Studying with New York’s Finest Chefs
Once back home, Duplechan studied with some of New York City’s finest chefs, absorbing the popular farm-to-plate concept. Three years ago, he joined Four Seasons Hotel Austin, eager to put a new stamp on Texan cuisine. Texan fare, he says, extends far beyond its “Southwest” label, embracing the culinary influences of Central Texas’ German heritage and Louisiana, as well as Mexico. “I’d like to take it to a more refined level, building on the ingredients and flavours that we already have,” he says.
His passion for homegrown ingredients extends to making sauces and sparkling wine from wild Mustang grapes, and serving Four Seasons guests flavoursome sausages and charcuterie plates.
TRIO’s diners are not the only ones who appreciate Duplechan’s creative use of local products and flavours. “Now, all the local farmers and ranchers are aware of my plans to increase our menu’s Texas content. I’m starting small but will work toward that goal every day,” Duplechan says.