Chris Dupont

Chris Dupont, chef/owner of Café Dupont, grew up in New Orleans, a city known for creating noteworthy chefs. While he worked in restaurants from the time he was 15, his passion for cooking developed after he graduated from college and worked at The Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama. He returned to New Orleans in the late 80s to hone his skills in a series of fine dining establishments, working with chefs such as Emeril Lagasse at Commander's Palace, Susan Spicer at Maison du Ville, and Daniel Bonnet at Tour d'Eiffel.

In the early 90s, he returned to Alabama and opened his own restaurant, Café Dupont in Springville. There he developed his "slow food" philosophy, featuring produce grown locally on his menu. He was able to work with growers who were literally right in his own backyard, walking over to pick his own blackberries or watercress. But Dupont missed the urban energy that a city location offers, and he spent a couple of years seeking the ideal location in Birmingham. He eventually purchased a circa-1870 storefront building in the city's historic North End, relocating Café Dupont to the space in 2003.

Being a part of the growing downtown community is one of the reasons Chef Dupont chose the restaurant's location. He envisioned his signature restaurant as just the first of several businesses-the restaurant adjoins two additional buildings, in which Dupont plans to expand the restaurant with additional seating and a bar by early 2008.

Dupont's philosophy, for dining and for business, reflects his vision of the new urban South: contemporary, locally relevant, with a nod to tradition.