In 2009, brothers Bryce and Dylan Gilmore purchased a Fleetwood Mallard trailer with a mission to turn it into an eatery serving only food with ingredients from local Austin farms. After a drive to Wisconsin to pick up the trailer and a hundred or so man-hours rehabbing it and outfitting it with a wood-burning grill, they named the trailer “Odd Duck” and opened that December. The trailer became instantly beloved by the city and afforded Bryce national recognition and acclaim as a chef while simultaneously helping put Austin’s local food scene on the map. Bryce began buying whole hogs from a local farm and using it from snout to tail throughout the week, sourcing local eggs from a farmer, whom he still exclusively buys his eggs from today, and started frequenting the (at the time) small Saturday farmers market where local farmers still did not sell wholesale to restaurant owners and chefs. Much of that has changed today due in part of Odd Duck’s mission, as well as Bryce’s commitment to cook and serve innovative dishes using only locally sourced goods.
In 2011 the trailer closed as Bryce opened his first brick and mortar restaurant, Barley Swine, which continued to support local farms –this time on a much larger scale. Soon after the trailer’s closing, and while Barley Swine began receiving its own acclaim, the gravel lot where the trailer stood, sold to develop an apartment community that would also include a freestanding restaurant — a space that Bryce would take over.
The Gilmores, along with partners Sam Hellman-Mass, Mark Buley and Jason James, opened Odd Duck in December 2013 as a full restaurant serving brunch, lunch and dinner on the exact lot the trailer once stood. Continuing the philosophy of supporting local farmers, making everything from scratch and working to capture the true craft of cooking in each bite, Odd Duck’s menu is inspired by the Texas seasons using local ingredients that showcase the loyal relationships between the chefs and the farmers built throughout the years.