This week, Wylie Dufresne returned to Top Chef as Guest Judge. As fans may remember, the innovative chef sat at the table during the Season 2 finale showdown between Ilan and Marcel. Read below for a bit of a briefing on one of our most intriguing guest judges and his answers to some of our questions.
Wylie Dufresne was born in 1970 in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of a designer and a restaurateur. In 1977 he moved to New York. In 1992 he completed a B.A. in philosophy at Colby College, Maine.
After college Wylie enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York. After graduation he was employed at Jo Jo's from 1994 to 1997. Wylie was then hired to work on the opening of Jean Georges, eventually becoming the sous-chef. In 1998 Wylie was hired as chef de cuisine at Vongerichten's Prime in The Bellagio, Las Vegas. In 1999 he left Prime to become the first chef at 71 Clinton Fresh Food, a 30-seat restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side where his father, Dewey was a partner. The restaurant's mission was "fining dining in a casual atmosphere." The restaurant was a great success and garnered much favorable press attention in spite of a Lilliputian kitchen.