Top chefs and their timepieces.Anyone who's ever watched a cooking show knows how important timing is to the preparation of a successful meal. “Timing is something we deal with both consciously and unconsciously on a daily basis,” says chef Eric Ripert of New York City’s Michelin-starred Le Bernardin and Avec Eric on PBS. “Sometimes, we have to be very patient and let things cook for a long time. Other times, we have to be very fast, because if something cooks too long, the flavors die.” The pace of the service is also crucial to any fine dining experience so that you don’t feel either neglected or rushed. With so much attention focused on the clock in restaurants, it’s no wonder that A-list chefs are drawn to fine watches.
Reflecting his appreciation of premium quality, Ripert (pictured) favors Vacheron Constantin, one of Geneva’s oldest and most prestigious watch houses; Alain Ducasse and Sam Talbot admire Audemars Piguet, another old-guard Swiss manufacture; and Panerai counts among its fans Daniel Boulud, Wolfgang Puck, and Thomas Keller. “It’s about craftsmanship more than anything else,” explains Ripert. “You see artistry in watches when the watchmakers create the design, put the pieces together, and develop different complications for calculating time. For chefs, the artistry is in the way we create dishes and craft flavors by combining various ingredients. We control flavors like watchmakers control time, and that similarity connects us in some way subconsciously.”