Wylie Dufresne

The Executive Chef of wd~50 in New York City answers our questions about his latest guest judging appearance.

Bravotv.com: First the Quickfire: What did you think the biggest mistake the chefs made was?
I thought that maybe they had gone too far from their comfort zones by trying to do what they interpreted as wd~50 food. I’d like to have seen them express their own culinary styles more.

Bravotv.com: What is the best egg dish you’ve ever had?
I have happy childhood memories of my mother’s scrambled eggs and my grandmother’s cheese omelets. We’re also pretty proud of our egg dishes at wd~50. We have a truffled carbonara on the Tasting menu at the moment; it’s a reinterpretation of the classic dish and we pipe egg yolk on the plate.

Bravotv.com: First, let’s talk about Leah’s eggs benedict (which you have on your menu) ... What were you looking for specifically? What are your best memories of amazing eggs benedict?
For a good hollandaise and then a good poach on the egg — the benchmarks of a good eggs benedict.

Bravotv.com: The chefs seemed confused as to whether they should try to put their own spins on these classics or stick to literal recipes. What do you think the judges were expecting overall?
We were just looking for a solid dish; we didn’t have expectations of either a traditional or a more innovative dish.

Bravotv.com: How did you like your “last meal?”
A good effort, as always. Some dishes really sang and some where just OK.Bravotv.com: Which other dishes stood out to you for better or for worse?
Fabio’s roast chicken was the strongest. 

Bravotv.com: What was it like sitting at a table with all of those culinary legends?
It’s always nice to be in the presence of those that have come before. Without them what we do would be impossible.

Bravotv.com: Who would you have sent home if you had been at the final Judges’ Table?
I can’t honestly remember everything I ate in detail, but the endive salad was pretty disappointing.

Bravotv.com: When Toby mentioned that he liked his egg whites a little runny, you gave him (a hilarious) look like he was nuts. What was going through your mind when he said that?
Who likes a runny egg white?

Bravotv.com: How did this judging experience differ from your previous ones?
Actually it reminded me a lot of the Season 2 finale in Hawaii, reminiscent in that in that most of the dishes are pretty strong at this point of the competition.

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