NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Link Restaurant Group has recently announced new leadership is in place at Cochon Butcher. Jacob Dufreche has been promoted to the position of Chef de Cuisine and Zack Shelton has been hired as General Manager.
“Jake has been a valuable part of our team since the day he started with us,” states Chef Donald Link. “He shares our passion for the art of house-made meats and sausages, and he brings much of his own Southern heritage to the table at Butcher.”
Dufreche oversees all culinary aspects of the restaurant, including the in-house production of all meats, sausages, terrines, pickles, jams, sauces, and more.
“As the only sandwich shop in the United States that makes everything that goes onto our sandwiches, we bring housemade to the next level,” states Chef Stephen Stryjewski. “We source our produce from farmers that we work with to plant to our specifications. We bring in our meat to butcher before curing. We have decades long relationships with the local fisherman who bring us fish each day. We procure the raw products needed to make every single item on our menu from scratch, right down to the mustards and jams.”
Dufreche, born and raised in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, grew up in a family of great home cooks, sparking his interest in food at an early age. While attending LSU, Jake’s interest in a professional culinary career grew, leading him to eventually start working his way to line cook at Jacmel in Hammond, LA. In 2010, Jake attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and graduated in 2011. He stayed connected with his Southern roots while at the CIA by interning at Susan Spicer’s Bayona in New Orleans. After returning to the South, Jake worked in several restaurants in Southeast Louisiana before joining Link Restaurant Group as a tournant at Butcher early 2017. He was then promoted to Sous-Chef before accepting the position of Chef de Cuisine.
Shelton grew up in the U.S. Northeast and while studying at George Washington University, Zack began working the host stand at Birch & Barley/ChurchKey, a beer-focused establishment operated under DC’s Neighborhood Restaurant Group. Zack worked his way through every position from food runner to manager. He opened The Arsenal at Bluejacket Brewery as the lead bartender and was later promoted to manage the restaurant and brewery. Two years later, Zack helped open the Sovereign in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood as the Assistant General Manager and was promoted to General Manager shortly thereafter. With two years under his belt in Georgetown, Zack and his fiancée decided to move to New Orleans for a change of scenery and lifestyle. Zack worked for a year at the Avenue Pub on St. Charles Avenue before joining Link Restaurant Group as Cochon Butcher’s General Manager.