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Wylie Dufresne Defends Foam, Calls Farm-to-Table Misleading

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Big Think interviewed chef Wylie Dufresne on a number of topics, two of which have been discussed to death (which is sort of why they discussed them): foam and the farm-to-table movement. Dufresne's New York restaurant wd~50 produces what some people — not Dufresne — might call "molecular gastronomy," of which foam is an oft-cited (and belittled) technique. "Farm-to-table," on the other hand, is a misleading term for an aspect of fine dining that we should all assume.

When asked, "What's with all the foam?" Dufresne takes the question literally and defends the stuff: "So I think that people criticizing foam...I just feel like that was an easy one. You know, we chefs almost put a target on our back when we decided to embrace that notion...I just think that people went after it unnecessarily." He also mentions that ice cream, bread, and cappuccinos are foams that have been around for awhile, and "you're not going to get a lot of people that don't like ice cream." Fact! He does dart around the idea that foam is a trope used to criticize the entire movement, but that's okay.

Next up for Dufresne is that pesky farm-to-table movement. The term is so misleading! Dufresne says, "it should be understood that when you go to a restaurant of a certain caliber, it should be expected that chef X is using good ingredients...'Hey, come here, we use good ingredients.' Well, that's crazy. That's crazy. 'Come here, we use mediocre ingredients, but it's cheaper.' Like that's nuts!" You can ask him where his ingredients come from, though, and he'll tell you. If you're curious.

Big Think: Is Foam Really Necessary?

Big Think: "Farm to Table" Is False Advertising

· Wylie Dufresne [Big Think]
· All Wylie Dufresne coverage on Eater [-E-]