Chef Wylie Dufresne (pronounced doo-FRAYN) is executive chef of New York's wd-50 restaurant in Manhattan's Lower East. wd-50 boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen where Dufresne perfects his craft of molecular gatronomy. Chef Dufresne was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1970.
The Philosophical Chef:
In 1992 Dufresne completed a B.A. in philosophy at Colby College in Maine. After Colby College, he enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in New York City.
Wylie was employed at JoJo's (Vongerichten) from 1994 to 1997. He then went to work on the opening of Jean Georges, where he became the sous chef. In 1998 Wylie became chef de cuisine at Vongerichten's Prime in The Bellagio, Las Vegas. In 1999 he left Prime to become the first chef at the new 71 Clinton Fresh Food, a 30-seat restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East.
His Own Place:
In April 2003, Dufresne opened wd~50 (named for the chef's initials and the street address), a 70-seat restaurant on Clinton Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. His business partners are chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and restaurateur Phil Suarez.
In 2000 Dufresne was a James Beard nominee for Rising Star Chef of the year. In 2004 wd~50 was nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant. In 2005, Restaurant Magazine (UK) voted wd~50 thirty fourth in its annual "The World's Best Restaurants" issue. In New York magazine's 101 Best Restaurants edition (2006), wd~50 was awarded four stars (out of a potential five) and was ranked fourth restaurant overall. The James Beard Foundation nominated Dufresne for Best Chef New York in 2007.
In May 2007, Chef Dufresne received an honorary degree of Doctor of Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University.
Iron Chef Dufresne:
For those keeping track, in 2005 Chef Dufresne appeared on Iron Chef America in the unforgettable Tilapia Battle with Mario Batali. Batali was declared the winner.
Now a Family Man:
Chef Dufresne was married in January of 2008 to Maile Carpenter, formerly features editor for the magazine Every Day With Rachael Ray.