Get to know the People of PlumpJack! This week get a behind the scenes look at, Executive Chef of PlumpJack Cafe at the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, Wyatt Dufresne. Originally from New York, Chef Wyatt started in PlumpJack Cafe‘s pantry in 2002. He worked his way to sous chef, left and came back in 2010 as the executive chef for 5 years, this March. Dufresne’s cuisine draws off his love for sustainable, organic, and seasonal ingredients as well as his educational background in science. His knowledge of how things grow, the anatomy of animals and fish, and the environmental impact of sourcing sustainable products has great influence on his menu selections. Here is more to know about Chef Wyatt.
1. What would your last meal be?
My last meal would be my Mother’s mac and cheese. I used to help her make the pasta from scratch when I was a kid and I’m sure it helped to influence where I am today. I have her make it for me every time I visit home!
2. What is the best advice you have ever received?
One of the most influential Chefs I’ve worked for (Larry Dunning at PlumpJack and West Shore Cafe) said, “Pay attention to the small things and you’ll be successful,” on our last day working together.
3. What is your top bucket list item?
Travel the world.
4. If you could travel back to any one point in time what would it be?
The 60’s and 70’s. It just seems like people were creating a lot of changes in the world while having tons of fun:)
5. If they made a film of your life what star would you like to play you?
Daniel Day Lewis with his “Gangs of New York” mustache.
6. What is your personal mantra?
7. If today was the last day of your life, how would you spend it?
With my wife, family and friends eating awesome food and drinking great wine. I would never forget our dog, Winter, either!
8. What was the last thing you searched for on google?
“Mignonette,” because I wanted to make sure the spelling was correct on the menu I just wrote.
“My favorite dish Wyatt has made is, Cervena Venison Cheek: Black Winter Truffles, Asian Pear, Five Spiced Butternut Squash – to me this dish encompassed it all – rustic, but elegant, simple yet refined. I can still taste everything in my mind – great dish.”
“Wyatt’s best characteristic in my mind is he’ll always rise to the challenge and do what it takes to get the job done.”
“My favorite memory with Wyatt was watching him win the 2014 Blazing Pans competition at the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival this past September.”
–Steve Lamb, General Manager at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn