‘You Should Be A Plumber’

This advice from native son Dewey Dufresne to his ridiculously accomplished restaurateur son Wylie draws a laugh from CBS host Vinita Nair. But attention graduating seniors — he’s not wrong! The pair are seen here in front of Alder, Wylie’s latest venture in lower Manhattan. (Watch here.)

Wylie Dufresne, wd~50 founder and frequent food TV personality, entered the cultural pantheon a few years ago with his appearance on The Simpsons. Still the go-to ‘molecular gastronomy’ reference, Wylie’s (hopefully fictional) liquid shrimp became a gag line on ‘Silicon Valley.’

But in these parts, Dewey is the famous Dufresne, and despite his many accomplishments in the NYC food scene, this piece in New York magazine proves that he just can not let go of the sandwich.

These days, Dewey Dufresne is best known as father of Wylie, New York’s preeminent avant-garde chef. In many ways, though, Wylie is a chip off the old block. Four decades ago, Dewey was a key figure in Providence, Rhode Island’s nascent food scene, a sandwich devotee who “opened two pioneering shops called Joe’s, in addition to the short-lived but seminal locavore restaurant Joe’s Upstairs (among its legacies: Al Forno’s George Germon and Johanne Killeen met working there). Dufresne “lost everything” in 1977 and eventually wound up in New York, where he dabbled in the business (as chef of Global 33, partner at 71 Clinton Fresh Food, and unofficial man Friday at wd-50) but never relinquished his sandwich love. This week marks his reentry into the field, via the Byggybeef sandwich he’ll sell at the Feast of San Gennaro.

I still find myself thinking about the seafood chowder at Joe’s Upstairs.

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