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Wylie Dufresne

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Gorge on BBQ in Chelsea This Sunday

Chelsea: Hill Country, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Mara’s Homemade are all taking part in the Hudson River Park Trust’s Blues BBQ on Pier 54 this Sunday from 2 to 9 p.m. [TONY] East Village: Monday’s Regional Dinner at Mercadito will highlight Mexico’s southern region with a menu featuring banana-leaf-wrapped pork and tres leches cake. [Grub Street] Flatiron: Hill Country is hiring someone who can cut meat — must love high-energy restaurants. [Eat for Victory/VV] Lower East Side: Wylie Dufresne switched up the bread at wd-50 from black to white sesame-seeded flatbread. [At the Sign of the Pink Pig] Midtown West: Today is the last day of the Rockefeller Center greenmarket, but a farmer tells us there may be a deal to bring it back for fall. [Grub Street] Soho: The developer behind the new glass hotel that will overlook 60 Thompson is Brack Capital Real Estate. [Down by the Hipster] Times Square: Mickey D’s at 46th Street and Broadway is testing out a new Angus third-pounder that’s both thicker and juicier than their basic patty. [A Hamburger Today] West Village: Jarnac has reopened with a new paint job, but in a week they’ll shut down again for summer vacation. [Eater]

Wd-50’s Trout Dish Starts With Forbidden Rice

Wd-50’s kitchen, headed by chef Wylie Dufresne, is the locus of cutting-edge New York cookery. But for all their originality, the dishes are still nice to eat. This ocean trout, with fava bean, forbidden rice, and root-beer-date purée, is especially easy to love. “We started with the rice,” Dufresne tells us, “and then figured out where to go from there.” As always, mouse over the different elements of the dish to read them described in the chef’s own words.

Sam Mason Parties Like Rock Star, Gets Meta

Welcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.

If Wylie Dufresne Is So Original, Why Didn’t He Write a Book?

Note: Readers with only a limited appetite for endless Talmudic hairsplitting over chef etiquette might want to quickly scan this exchange between us and the Gurgling Cod, a blogger even more fascinated by the Marcel Egg Scandal than we are. Grub Street,
While Marcel Vigneron certainly rips off Wylie Dufresne, the charge of plagiarism does not make sense. There’s no assertion of the work's origination with Vigneron anywhere in the Wired piece that started this whole fuss. If you attend a musical performance, there is no such expectation that, say, Yo-Yo Ma wrote the cello suite he is performing. In this context, cooking is more like playing the cello than writing a book. If Dufresne wants to protect his intellectual property, he should write a book, which would be copyright protected. Like all artists, cooks rip each other off all the time. I suspect that the current mania for molecular gastronomy may work to create a notion of the molecular chef as auteur, rather than artisan, and thus these allegations of plagiarism.
The Gurgling Cod

‘Wired’ Tries to Scramble the Case of the Stolen Egg

Our exposure of Top Chef washout Marcel Vigneron as an alleged egg thief has already had ramifications. Wired products editor Mark McClusky, who wrote the online feature in which Vigneron demonstrates a dish that wd-50 staffers tell us was stolen from them, now all but admits as much in a blog entry. “We've eaten at wd-50 as well — during the editing process here, we did realize that Marcel's ‘Cyber Egg’ is very, very similar to the one that Dufresne serves.” Um, okay. So why did McClusky let the cyber-chef present it as if it were his own?

Did Marcel From ‘Top Chef’ Really Just Rip Off Wylie Dufresne?

Marcel Vigneron, the memorably unpopular molecular gastronomist from last year’s Top Chef, can add the staff of wd-50 to the long list of people that can't stand him. The place is agog at the effrontery of Vigneron, since they believe he has brazenly ripped off one of chef Wylie Dufresne’s best-known dishes. By the looks of a feature in the current issue of Wired, Vigneron has created a showpiece dish of a “cyber egg,” the yolk of which is made of carrot-cardamom purée, surrounded by a white of hardened coconut milk. Very interesting, given that almost the exact same dish (minus a garnish of foam and carrot) has been served often at wd-50, is featured on the restaurant’s website, and, we are told by members of the staff, has been eaten by Vigneron at least twice. “It’s one thing to be inspired by a dish and to change the flavors to make it your own,” says line cook John Bignelli. “But to just steal everything? How can you do that?” Dufresne, staying above the fray, declined to comment. Tasty Molecules From a Top Chef [Wired] Related: ‘Top Chef’'s Marcel Doesn't Love Joël Robuchon That Much

And the Tablecloths Burn

Revolutions don’t happen overnight, so we weren’t shocked that only one of the three Beard Award categories reversed tradition. Still, last night’s ceremony officially ushered in a new era in fine dining.

Tonight’s Beard Awards: a Referendum on Haute Cuisine

Times are changing in the restaurant world – but just how fast? Tonight’s James Beard Awards will help answer the question of whether the traditional tablecloth restaurants, which seem to be on the way out, still wield their old clout in the gastronomic Establishment.

Beard’s Best Chef Nominees Spill Beans

The Beard nominees for New York City’s Best Chef know that there’s more to the award than who makes the best plate of spaghetti. Looking back at previous years in which he was nominated, Picholine’s Terrance Brennan says, “Our customers were always loyal, but because I wasn’t playing the game, we were under the foodie radar. Being friends with the [Beard] committee helps … I imagine if you know some people, your odds are probably better.”

Sam Mason Joins a Molecular Secret Society

Welcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.

The Robs Go Oeuf Their Rockers, Platt Stops Short of Giving Morandi a Goose Egg

This week’s magazine is an overflowing egg basket of fascinating features. First, Adam Platt proves himself a glutton for punishment: Just a week after successfully securing a table at the Waverly Inn without being a movie star (just the brother of one), he charges head first into the dining crunch at Morandi. Rob and Robin, meanwhile, take on the equally ambitious task of attempting the perfect poached egg — part of an “egg primer” that rounds up their favorite dishes and introduces us to specialty eggs that don’t exactly taste like chicken. Meanwhile, Gael Greene opts to down her egg in fish form at the newly opened counter at Wild Edibles.

Hark! James Beard Award Nominations

After much speculation, the 2007 nominees for the James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the restaurant world, are in. Adam Platt, Rob Patronite, Robin Raisfeld, and Grub Street all filled out Beard brackets (or at least revealed whom we’d like to see win) on Friday. Here's how the academy's coming down.

Time to Fill Out Our James Beard Brackets

The nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards, the Oscars of the restaurant industry, will be announced Monday morning. We’ll report on that as it happens, but for now, here are picks for the main categories from Adam Platt, Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld, and Josh Ozersky. Our choices are admittedly New York–centric (the awards go to restaurants across the country), but the ceremony is held here, and the city always looms large in the proceedings.

Can Paul Liebrandt Make New York Safe for Molecular Gastronomy?

The details aren’t yet clear, but it seems that one way or another, Paul Liebrandt will soon be leading a restaurant in New York. (Snack asserts that it will be Montrachet, but Vogue’s Jeffrey Steingarten tells us that it will be a new venture with Drew Nieporent; the two are searching for a space.) Add to that the launch of Sam Mason’s Tailor, the buzz around Jordan Kahn’s work at Varietal, and the mainstreaming of tropes like foams, and it looks like molecular gastronomy will have another shot with New York diners.

Sam Mason: “It’s Like the Special Olympics”

Sam Mason, the former star pastry chef at wd-50, will be launching his own restaurant and lounge, Tailor, at the beginning of March. In the weeks leading up to then, he’ll take us behind the scenes of a hot restaurant opening.

The 2 Percent of the ‘Saveur’ 100 That Matters

It was with trembling hands that we opened up the Saveur 100, Saveur magazine's annual roundup of their 100 favorite food-related things and people in the world. We were soon shocked — shocked! — to discover that just two entries cited the New York food scene. And what would they be? A blurb on Wylie Dufresne? A shout-out to Katz’s Deli? Nope. The honors go to a Dominican juice drink in Brooklyn and the Hungry Cabbie, a blogger. We appreciate Famous Fat Dave, as the cabbie misleadingly calls himself, and the Morir Soñando at Reben Luncheonette, at 229 Hevemeyer Street in South Williamsburg, sounds pretty good. But are they really New York's equivalent of Beijing's Peking duck as made by celebrated Chinese chef Da Dong? Then again, we understand. This is New York — Saveur has to overcompensate on behalf of the rest of the world.

Jason Neroni: I Love Wylie, But ...

A friend of Porchetta chef Jason Neroni has alerted us to the fact that, despite having taken over for Wylie Dufresne at 71 Clinton Fresh Foods before starting his new gig, Neroni does not consider Dufresne his mentor. "Because Wylie made such a name for 71 Clinton Fresh Food, I think people tend to compare our styles a lot," Neroni tells us. "But Smith Street isn't the Lower East Side, and I'm in this business to do what I love, and to be myself." The chef credits Alice Waters and Dan Hill for teaching him about ingredients, Floyd Cardoz for teaching him about "multidimensionality," and Alain Ducasse for teaching him to "slow down, combine all the elements, and create a cuisine that I could, for the first time, truly consider to be mine." A Restaurant Revolution on Smith Street? [Grub Street]