Wylie DufresneWylie Dufresne was born in 1970 in Providence, Rhode Island moving to New York in 1977. 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 and was then employed at Jo Jo's from 1994 to 1997.
Wylie was hired to work on the opening of Jean Georges, eventually becoming the sous chef. In 1998 Dufresne 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.
Dufresne opened wd~50 (named for the chef's initials and the street address) in April of 2003, on Clinton Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. His partners in the venture are Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and restaurateur Phil Suarez.
Frank Bruni of the New York Times awarded wd~50 three stars in March of 2008. In 2006, in the Michelin Guide's inaugural American edition, wd~50 received one star, which it has retained in each subsequent year.
In May of 2007, Wylie was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University.