Fried Chicken and Caviar: Wylie Dufresne’s Epic Surprise Dinner

04/09/2014 at 01:23 PM ET

Wylie Dufresne Surprise Dinner
Courtesy Instagram/xtinem

Happy anniversary, Wylie Dufresne!

To celebrate the 11th year of his avant-garde N.Y.C. restaurant WD-50, the pioneering chef got quite the shock when 30 of his comrades from around the world — including chefs David Chang, Christina Tosi, René Redzepi and Alex Atala — surprised him with an elaborate party on Tuesday.

The fete was the work of Gelinaz!, a food-meets-performance art collective of big-name chefs who go to great lengths to put on culinary spectacles.

Like a flash mob, you never know where this group might pop up. But there can be clues: Prior to the event, chefs like Prune’s Gabrielle Hamilton released a series of mysterious video teasers. The food world knew something was brewing…

In the hush-hush days leading up to the big event, the chefs behind it all camped out in Brooklyn, while each crafted a twist on Dufresne’s signature gastronomic feats. All was revealed to guests (who had been kept in the dark — literally) and the man of honor Tuesday night when the crème de la culinary world took over WD-50 for a ten-course celebratory dinner.

Of course, the presentation was playful: Guests Instagrammed dishes like buckets of fried chicken (branded with Dufresne’s face) paired with caviar, and apples filled with caviar, creme fraiche and chicken liver.

Chefs Daniel Boulud and Danny Bowien did a take on Dufresne’s shrimp noodles, which Bowien described as “a very nice uptown French dish came downtown and got beat up by a Chinese restaurant,” Eater reports.

Watch the video of the surprise:

—Brooke Showell

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Lee on

I need a better class of friends! What an incredible gift!

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