Wylie Dufresne is the chef and owner of wd~50 restaurant in New York City. Dufresne is a leading proponent of molecular gastronomy, the movement to incorporate science and new techniques in the preparation and presentation of food.
Dufresne is a graduate of The French Culinary Institute in New York. In 1992, Wylie completed a B.A. in philosophy at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. From 1994 through 1999, he worked for Jean-Georges Vongerichten, where he was eventually named sous chef at Vongerichten's eponymous Jean Georges. In 1998 he was chef de cuisine at Vongerichten's Prime in The Bellagio, Las Vegas. In 1999, he left to become the first chef at 71 Clinton Fresh Food. In April 2003, he opened his 70-seat restaurant, wd~50 (named for the chef's initials and the street address, as well as a pun on WD-40) on Clinton Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The eatery was awarded a Michelin star in 2006, which it has retained through 2009.
Dufresne was a James Beard Foundation nominee for Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2000 and chosen the same year by New York Magazine for their New York Awards. Food & Wine magazine named him one of 2001 America's Ten Best Chefs award and, in 2006, New York Magazine's Adam Platt placed wd-50 fourth in his list of New York's 101 best restaurants. Dufresne was nominated for Best Chef New York by the James Beard Foundation. Wd-50 has also been recognized as one of the Top 10 Molecular Gastronomy Restaurants in the U.S. by GAYOT.com.
In 2006, Dufresne competed on Iron Chef America. From 2007-2010 , he appeared as a guest judge on Bravo's Top Chef. He was invited to participate in Top Chef Masters in 2009 where he placed third out of four in the preliminary rounds. Dufresne also appeared in the final of the United Kingdom version of Masterchef.
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