Discussing Hublot’s Culinary Journey with CEO Ricardo Guadalupe and Chef Andreas

First, We Feast: Discussing Hublot’s Culinary Journey with CEO Ricardo Guadalupe and Chef Andreas Caminada

Watchonista talked to the brand’s CEO and the Michelin-starred chef about the importance of finding the time to appreciate a fine meal.

By Rhonda Riche

Life is a banquet. While we revel in watchmaking, our many other interests flavor not only our worldview but also help satisfy our appreciation for how things are made and the artists that make them.

Hublot, for example, is famous for longstanding collaborations with artists and musicians such as Daniel Arsham and Depeche Mode. But is the way to CEO Ricardo Guadalupe’s heart through his palate?

Watchonista sat down with Guadalupe and celebrity chef and Hublot Brand Ambassador Andreas Caminada to talk about how the passion for the culinary arts also impacts one’s taste in timepieces.

The Recipe

“I’m passionate about gastronomy and wine also,” said Guadalupe. “My [late] mother gave me this passion because she was an incredible chef. She was Spanish but also made incredible Swiss dishes.”

Guadalupe’s job takes him all over the world, so he has dined at one of the finest establishments in almost every major city (as well as many hidden restaurants and inns known only to the locals). It is through food that he connects with clients and friends.

Cooking as a hobby also keeps him grounded. “I don’t cook every day, but at least once on the weekends. It is a big part of my life on weekends,” said Guadalupe. “I’m a good cook – not, of course, at the level of Andreas – and I try to cook with good products because when you use good ingredients, it’s difficult to mess up your dish.”

Another important part of Guadalupe’s culinary philosophy is using seasonal ingredients.

Switzerland is renowned for its cheese and chocolate. However, because 24% of the country is farmland, there’s also an embarrassment of riches when it comes to leafy greens, turnips, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, and courgettes. And if you like sweet things, there’s local cherries, apricots, plums, numerous berries, apples, and pears. The “Made in Switzerland” label is as important in the kitchen as in Hublot’s manufacture.

“I like to use seasonal products,” added Guadalupe. “In the summer, I barbecue. In the winter, I do stuffed dishes that I don’t have to braise for hours.”

A Seat at the Table

Cooking is Guadalupe’s hobby, but his meals are meant to be shared.

“I try to invite very few people because if you cook for eight people, you spend your time in the kitchen,” confided Guadalupe. “I cook for two, three, four people max because after that, it’s too complicated.”

We asked him how we might get an invite to his next dinner party. Unfortunately, like a highly coveted timepiece, there’s a long waiting list. Guadalupe has been feeding the same friends and family for 30 years.

“It’s interesting, the similarities between the arts of gastronomy and watchmaking,” Guadalupe said. “To reach the highest level for each discipline, you have to be passionate about what you do, attentive to the details, and concerned with the quality of the product. So, we need quality in our watches; we need the creativity and the mission because, and this is important, we need the experience.”

Because Guadalupe sees similarities between haute cuisine and horology, he has sought out the experience of chefs like Yannick Alléno, Anne-Sophie Pic, Clare Smyth, and Andreas Caminada to activate events within the Hublot collector community because they “share the same passion, the same feelings as our community, just in a different field.”

Essential Ingredients

Hublot’s connection with Caminada has been particularly fruitful. Driven by a shared passion for excellence, the relationship also owes something to good timing (another important skill in the kitchen).

Andreas Caminada’s love for food and creating unforgettable culinary experiences was inspired by early memories. So, after working under the guidance of the best chefs in the world, at the age of 26, he opened the now three Michelin-starred restaurant Schloss Schauenstein, located in the village of Fürstenau (a.k.a. the smallest city in the world) in Switzerland’s Grisons canton.

Caminada’s menus artfully encapsulate the road trip through time to the 12-century castle. Again, there’s an emphasis on locally grown ingredients, but each plate is also infused with color, craftsmanship, and creativity.

Moreover, since the luxury experience, including restaurants, is changing so quickly, Guadalupe feels the partnership between watchmaker and chef can only be mutually beneficial.

Speaking of the hospitality sector, Caminada noted, “You always need to evolve yourself,” and gave the example of Schloss Schauenstein’s kitchen garden. “A couple of years ago, we said. ‘Hey, we have to use this garden even more intensely.’ So, we hired two farmers to help us produce more vegetables that we could integrate into the menus.

“Then, we opened a vegetarian restaurant. Now, we also have a garden with plants that normally don’t grow in our region. It’s like a laboratory to see what’s possible.”

Likewise, Guadalupe’s goal is to create a moveable feast. “We must evolve our boutiques to be more immersive and more experimental.”

Good Times

The collaboration between Hublot and Caminada has progressed beyond friend-of-the-brand status with the introduction of the limited-edition Big Bang Unico All Black Schloss Schauenstein – a fusion of haute horlogerie and culinary mastery.

“This watch commemorates 20 years of his restaurant, but it’s also a statement,” Guadalupe told us at the unveiling. “The idea is really to have this watch for our fans. Andreas wanted to have a watch that represented his will and knowledge. He loves black. We did an all-black concept watch in 2006, but this is the first time for Unico.”

Sarah and Andreas Caminada created the Uccelin Foundation in 2016 with the aim of promoting motivated young chefs and service enthusiasts. And ultimately, the secret to a successful watch or menu is about looking forward.

And because Caminada is a big proponent of giving back to the community that supports him, a unique version, customized with the Uccellin Foundation logo, was auctioned for the charity during the AC Masters event.

Timing is quite important in the kitchen: knowing when the guests are arriving, making sure service between courses doesn’t take too long,” added the chef. “It’s like with watches,” Caminada said. “It’s all about personal approach, and you have to have the connection to a dish or a watch.”

To learn more about Hublot’s partnership with Caminada, check out the brand’s website.

(Images © Hublot)

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