wd-50’s mad scientist shows us the genesis of his ice cream bagel
Don’t call James Beard–nominated chef Wylie Dufresne a molecular gastronomist. You’ll piss him off. Although Dufresne does use a multitude of advanced scientific techniques to produce both playful variations on traditional dishes and wacky new food pairings at his acclaimed Lower East Side restaurant, wd-50, he'd rather be called a "New American" chef. Or maybe just a "chef."
"I'm not a scientist," he says, adding that the term “molecular gastronomy” was coined to describe the work that food scientists do. "It doesn't sound delicious. What does it even mean? Are there guys in lab coats electrocuting bunnies?" (Thankfully, no.)
With that issue resolved, the chef/non-scientist walked us through the genesis of a recent creation: an artful riff on the classic New York everything bagel. Here, the old-time deli staple will be frozen, flaked, dried and pickled before Dufresne is through. What's left is a playful, provocative version of its former self. —Jacqui Gal
Photo by Melissa Hom