March 16 2011
No matter how good one’s culinary skills, if the timing is off, dinner can be ruined. And so the 151-year-old house of Chopard cooked up the idea of a series of invitation-only dinners around the world to celebrate its new range of Imperiale ladies’ watches (the white-gold 40mm Imperiale model, set with diamonds on the bezel and with an alligator strap and launched at the end of 2010, is pictured). As Chopard’s co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele explains, “Combining high gastronomy and fine horology makes complete sense. There are many similarities between our two worlds: the accuracy demonstrated by the great chefs in their cuisine certainly matches that of our master watchmakers.”
Creating “an exceptional moment”, each of the Imperiale dinners was precision-cooked by a different chef. Boasting an asterism of Michelin stars between them, they included: Eric Frechon of Hôtel Le Bristol in Paris (three stars); Philippe Rochat of Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville in Crissier (three stars), cooking in Lausanne; Marcus Wareing of The Berkeley in London (two stars); Asadaya of Restaurant Asadaya in Kanazawa, cooking in Tokyo; Osama Al-Sayed, cooking at the One & Only Royal Mirage in Dubai; Carlo Cracco of Ristorante Cracco in Milan (three stars); and sibling chefs Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca of El Celler de can Roca in Gerona (three stars).
Now a magnificently produced book, Imperiale Gastronomy: Precious Recipes (Stiletto Editions – whose publication coincides with the launch of the new Imperiale range at Baselworld next week, March 24-31) – immortalises these occasions with atmospheric photographs and the chefs’ unique recipes. So if you feel up to creating “poularde à l’impériale, queue d’écrevisse et truffe, royale de foie gras” or “précieux chocolat Nyangbo, cacao liquide, fine tuile croustillante et sorbet doré à l’or fin” (both served up by Frechon), you can try – and you might even be let into some Michelin-starred secrets. Just be careful not to drop that Chopard watch in the choc…