Chef / Owner of wd-50 and Alder Biography
Wylie Dufresne was born in 1970 in Providence, Rhode Island. His family relocated to New York City in 1977. In 1992, he completed a B.A. in philosophy at Colby College, Maine.
After college, Wylie returned to New York and enrolled at the French Culinary Institute. His first professional cooking position was at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Upper East Side establishment, JoJo, where he worked from 1994 to 1997. In 1997 Wylie became part of the opening team of the now three Michelin starred Jean-Georges, eventually earning the role of sous chef. Staying within the Jean-George group, Dufresne was hired in 1998 as chef de cuisine of Prime Steakhouse in The Bellagio, Las Vegas. In 1999 he left Prime to become the first chef at 71 Clinton Fresh Food, a 30-seat restaurant in Manhattan's Lower East Side.
Dufresne opened wd~50 on Clinton Street in April of 2003 with partners Jean-Georges Vongerichten and restaurateur Phil Suarez. The restaurant is named for the chef's initials and the street address. In 2006, the inaugural American edition of the Michelin Guide awarded wd~50 one star, which it has retained every year since. Frank Bruni of the New York Times awarded wd~50 three stars in March of 2008. The restaurant has garnered praise for its inspired culinary combinations, cutting edge techniques, and innovative ingredients.
In May of 2007, Wylie was awarded with an honorary degree of Doctor of Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University.
The year 2013 not only heralds the 10th anniversary of wd-50, but the opening of Wylie’s second restaurant, Alder. Dufresne’s business partners in Alder are Stephen Daniels and Adam Riess. Located in the East Village of Manhattan, Alder is in close enough proximity to wd-50 for Wylie to be truly present at both restaurants. A modern American pub, Alder offers delicious and affordable food created with modern cooking techniques and is designed to be a comfortable, casual neighborhood spot.
In 2013 Wylie Dufresne was honored with the 2013 James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef New York City. He had been previously nominated for the same award six times.
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