World Chefs: Dufresne prepares end of NYC modernist mecca

Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:30am EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chef Wylie Dufresne is preparing to close his 11-year-old wd-50 restaurant, which has been a New York mecca for food enthusiasts to taste cutting-edge dishes.

Dufresne's inventive applications of molecular gastronomy, or techniques that can radically alter the appearance or texture of food, have influenced other chefs and helped transform the menus at other top restaurants. But the landlord's decision to tear down the building means the end of the pioneering restaurant.

Once wd-50 closes on Nov. 30, Dufresne will focus on Alder, a casual New York dining spot that he opened last year.

Dufresne, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island, spoke to Reuters about closing the restaurant and molecular gastronomy.

Q: How will you mark the restaurant's last day?

A: We haven’t decided yet. (We might) do something amazing in a big blowout or do something very simple and probably in some ways very unexpected. It’s an emotional day, and it’s an emotional decision.

Q: What has wd-50 meant to New York's food scene?

A: I hope we could be remembered as a place where you could get delicious food that made you think, that made you smile, that it was fun place to eat. There were things you couldn’t have anywhere else in the city possibly at its time. We have another restaurant. It’s not the end of our story.   Continued...

Chef Wylie Dufresne is pictured in his New York City restaurant wd-50, in this 2012 handout photo courtesy of restaurant wd-50. REUTERS/Travis Huggett/wd-50/Handout via Reuters