For every great party, there should be a great after-party.
First there was one of the greatest surprise parties in history, with 28 of the world’s best chefs descending on WD-50 to surprise Wylie Dufresne and celebrate his restaurant’s 11th anniversary. There was René Redzepi, in from Copenhagen; Alex Atala in from Brazil; Ben Shewry from Melbourne, Australia; and Blaine Wetzel from Lummi Island, Washington, plus the men and women behind the stoves at places as varied as Sweden’s Fäviken, Belgium’s In De Wulf and New York City’s Prune.
The party—organized by Gelinaz!, the nutso food performance art group, and sponsored by San Pellegrino—included the MVP chefs preparing riffs on WD-50 signature dishes, like cold fried chicken. One course featured fried chicken in buckets with Dufresne’s face plastered on them and 250-gram tins of osetra caviar alongside; another one was called Rotten Chicken and Rotten Corn for Dead Heads.
But at some point even the greatest parties have to be over: The lights go up and the bar shuts down. That’s when it’s time to walk a few blocks over to Mission Cantina where Danny Bowien was laying down an epic spread for the after-party.
Good thing, because the chefs were starving. On the buffet table: crackling pork belly with extra-crispy skin, and baskets of homemade flour tortillas with bowls of hoisin sauce, cucumbers and pickles. “It’s roast pork David Chang,” said Bowien. He’d cooked a bunch of rotisserie chicken with bread that he’d imported from the Bay Area’s Tartine Bakery absorbing all of the drippings. He made uni tacos (the buffet table was dotted with the discarded uni boxes). And Bowien brought back some Mission Chinese favorites for the evening: Sichuan peppercorn-laced chicken wings and the awesome salt cod fried rice. Redzepi went for the mojo spiced lamb tacos and crispy tripe. “Delicious,” he pronounced. Magnus Nilsson and Daniel Patterson snacked on rotisserie chicken near the kitchen. Kobe Desramaults stood by the keg. James Murphy hung out in the corner with David Chang and declined a glass of sake (“instant hangover”). Shewry mingled. Daniel Boulud set up shop in one corner with the Franks—Falcinelli and Castronovo. Guest of honor Dufresne stayed late. So did the Parisian chefs Iñaki Aizpitarte and Bertrand Grébaut, who danced until 4 a.m. “I was impressed,” says Bowien. “Iñaki usually starts dancing early—he held off a lot longer than he usually does.”