And as for the explosion of bloggers, some of whom are celebrities in their own right, don't get him started. He says he doesn't mind critiques in a respected publication, but when a faceless person criticizes his restaurant on the Internet, "it stings."
"I want to get rid of all the blogs. The fact that everyone can be a critic, I think, is unfortunate. And I think that it seems to be a popular medium for people to be a critic in. But again I suppose, at some point the rules of engagement were you knew you had to be ready for various media forms to come in and write about you and be critical of you," he said. "And that was OK because that was implicit and that was part of the game. And now anybody can get online and say anonymously that wd~50 sucks. That's frustrating, that's disappointing, but you move beyond it, you get -- I would say five years ago you would have literally had to tie me to this chair to keep me from ranting about it. But I've hopefully matured and gotten a little thicker skinned and don't worry about those people quite as much as I used to."
Dufresne prefers to focus on healthy competition -- with himself. His goal? To execute what wd~50 set out to do in the first place: utilizing cutting-edge techniques to create unique dishes in many different cuisines.
"A restaurant is a place where people go to eat, but above and beyond that it can be a thousand different iterations," he said. "And I think all of them are fantastic and great, but as long as a restaurant does a good job at whatever it is it aspires to be, that's what a good restaurant is."