Cover Photo: Affa Chan/Tatler Hong Kong

The acclaimed chefs embody the convention-defying principles behind the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph

Throughout its 146-year history, Audemars Piguet has cemented its reputation; championing pioneering designs that challenge convention. It’s an ethos that’s shared by Vicky Cheng, chef patron of French-Chinese fine dining establishment VEA and the newly opened Cantonese eatery, Wing. “It’s easy to follow a trend, to be inspired by others. It’s always going to be harder to create something new,” he says. 

This approach is shared by Cheng’s friend and fellow classically trained chef Olivier Elzer. Under the mentorship of the late Joel Robuchon, Elzer cultivated a unique approach to fine dining, seen now in his role as culinary director of two-Michelin-starred French restaurant, L’Envol.

The chefs, who both wear a newly imagined Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph, where black ceramic is embedded in gold, dared each other to recreate dishes from their childhood, imbuing familiar flavours with new, unexpected elements. Elzer, who grew up in northeastern France, set Cheng the task of preparing Baeckeoffe, an Alsatian stew made with marinated meats, potatoes and herbs baked in a dough-sealed ceramic pot, from his mother’s recipe.

In return, Cheng challenged Elzer to make braised yellow croaker with Chinese yellow wine, a dish that makes him nostalgic for time spent with his grandmother, encouraging Elzer to reveal skills he hadn’t previously demonstrated.

Watch the video below to learn how chefs Vicky and Olivier rose to the challenges they set for each other:

Above Video: Capsule 48/Tatler Hong Kong

Like the perpetual ticking of their chosen watches, Cheng and Elzer never fully switch off, always looking for new ways to reinvent classic dishes. “A signature dish represents a chef at a specific moment in time,” says Elzer, eschewing the idea that a dish can define a chef. After all, as he says, there’s always something new bubbling under the surface, waiting to be revealed.

Elzer was drawn to the 18-karat white gold timepiece; its precise finish is a nod to the razor-sharp precision seen on plates that an array of hidden elements and surprising flavour combinations.

See also: The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Is Pushing Watchmaking Forward

Cheng wears a two-tone timepiece finished in 18-karat rose gold with an octagonal middle case honed from black ceramics, channelling a duality that’s seen in his food, where classic French techniques are infused with Cantonese flavours.

Beneath its bold yet sleek exterior, the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph houses all manner of depth and complexity. Like Cheng and Elzer’s artfully prepared, dynamic cuisine, there’s more than meets the eye.

Learn more about the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Collection here

  • PhotographyAffa Chan
  • VideographyCapsule 48
  • GroomingWendy Lee
  • LocationL'Envol, The St Regis Hong Kong
© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.