Wylie Dufresne

Wylie Dufresne, son of a designer and restaurant owner, arrived in Clinton Street, New York, in 1999 but at number 71, chef of Clinton Fresh Food which was awarded 27/30 on the Zagat guide in 2002. In April 2003 came the opening of Wd-50, a code which is the merger of Dufresne’s initials and the street number, but which also plays with the name of a spray used in the US to unstick rusty locks and cogs, Wd-40.

His business partners are chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (for whom Wylie was sous chef) and restaurant owner Phil Suarez. Dufresne has a great sense of humour and a good dose of curiosity, unlike many American chefs affected by gigantism, always ready to create dishes full of too much and even more. Wylie is curious and always ready to try out new molecular chemical-physical techniques according to a term which was initially very fashionable, but then fizzled out a bit: what matters is that, in Wylie’s case, the contents are always guaranteed.

The dishes are described with the ingredients only: scallop, chorizo pannacotta, wide rice leaf as opposed to foie gras terrine and anchovies, citrus chutney, tarragon (and the tarragon come as foam, not mousse). Now, starting with the study of contrasts and the audacity of cocoa beans to accompany marinated anchovies served with foie gras, it is obvious that the man has courage, talent and a really European elegance. Seeing Egg drowned in Parmesan stock: more than stock it is an elixir, with a sprinkling of crunchy vermicelli which can be bought in any Indian delicatessen. Or Scrambled egg ravioli, the dish with which he bewitched Vinopolis at Identità London 2010. This is to set the scene of a cuisine in which Dufresne re-elaborated local ingredients, creating the syntax of the thousand international communities that cohabit in Manhattan.

Has participated in

Identità London, Identità Milano


Roberta Corradin

For over a decade Roberta Corradin has been covering travel and food for Italian Marie Claire, L'Espresso, La Repubblica, illywords and others. She is a contributor for Food Arts. Her Italian rendition of Spices, History of a Temptation by Jack Turner was awarded with Premio Costa d'Amalfi. She edited the English version of Nonna Genia's Classic Langhe Cookbook. Her fiction works are published in German, French, and Spanish. Her last book Le cuoche che volevo diventare focuses on women and cooking, and was published in Italy by Einaudi in 2008.