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A Chef's Take on Time - Jean-Marc Bessire

A Chef's Take on Time Jean-Marc Bessire

Chef Jean-Marc Bessire is President of the Geneva Goutatoo (“Taste everything”) Chefs Association, always ready to participate in charitable events and highlight the assets of local gastronomy.

Prepare your tridents, adjust your masks and check the pressure of your cylinders ; Poseidon has a worthy rival in Switzerland in the person of our own legendary “deity” of the aquatic world, Michelin starred chef Jean-Marc Bessire. Ruling supreme for more than 25 years over the kitchens of his Le Cigalon restaurant in Thonex, he has been composing unique and tasty aquatic symphonies for his guests. Time goes by, yet Bessire’s talent remains as timely as ever, perpetually reinvented in step with the seasons, gourmet trends and flavors.

Jean-Marc Bessire

Restaurant Le Cigalon

The precision and inventiveness of your lake and maritime-based culinary universe requires almost chronographic accuracy. What was your first watch as a chef ?
This question makes me hop into H.G Wells’ proverbial time machine (smiles). I remember very well the watch I acquired in my first year at Cigalon. I had an instant crush on this model to which I treated myself for the work accomplished in my new establishment. It was a gold and steel Ebel Wave: easy to wear, elegant yet not at all ostentatious, while featuring noble materials and displaying a durability that continues to prove its worth today.

Jean-Marc Bessire

Restaurant Le Cigalon

As someone constantly journeying through the world’s countless tastes and flavors, and who is passionate about the great outdoors and Nature, have you ever chosen a watch that could combine pleasure and work?
It is true that I have always loved investigating the world of flavors and all my travels have enabled me to explore the subtle alchemy of gustatory culture in order to enhance the dishes I prepare. It’s no secret that I love the maritime world and I’m so fond of water that I should have scales on my body! At one point I was looking for a typical Swiss steel watch with a strong identity and a history; a sporty, waterproof model that could accompany me everywhere. After some research, I opted for my Tudor Rotor Self-Winding model with a steel bracelet. Like me, it has traveled around the world, founds its way through kitchen ‘rush hours’ and enabled me to live up to my motto: En temps et en heure (all in due time).

Le Cigalon is now a well-recognized name on the Swiss culinary scene. Has this energy allowed you to pursue and broaden your taste for watches? Which model has appealed to you?
Le Cigalon is not only about a chef and his cuisine; it implies a team – of which my wife Corinne is a cornerstone. As time goes by, it is true that we evolve naturally; we can fine-tune, experiment, select and define our territory, coming to know ourselves better in order to achieve the ultimate goal of all chefs: to please. I have been won over by two different watches, featuring completely different styles but which I saw as clearly complementary. The first is a Longines Tachymetre Heritage. For me, its key assets are its subtle color nuances, the dials and counters, the slightly retro timekeeping style, along with a black crocodile leather strap. The second is completely different with a ‘rugged’, powerful, extreme diving edge to it: Alpina Seastrong Diver 300M. This legible and sturdy model shares the adventurous, almost explorer-style side of my personality, whether in mountain lakes or the Pacific Ocean. I love them both without any cause for one to be jealous of the other!

Jean-Marc Bessire

Seastrong Diver 300 © Alpina

Without imposing any limits on your choice, what would you describe as your ideal watch?
Just one? That’s a really tough choice! I must admit that the Hublot Classic Fusion Blue in titanium attracts me enormously in terms of style, color and design: it is pared down to essentials without losing the strength of its identity.

Jean-Marc Bessire

Classic Fusion Blue © Hublot

*Written by Louis-Olivier Maury

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