EPISODE 1: DEFINING TASTE
Emma Gao is putting Chinese wine on the global map.
In the Lexus LC, Gao drives through her family estate of Silver Heights in Ningxia Hui, where she grows the grapes for her now-famous wine that is challenging the status quo to compete with the world’s greatest estates.
Like the Lexus LC, Gao is forging a new path, surpassing all expectations to create a wine unlike any other that has come before - especially in China.
“Just like our wine, the LC defies expectations,” she says.
EPISODE 2: REINVENTING TASTE
Renowned Russian chef Vladimir Mukhin is redefining the cuisine of his homeland, taking inspiration from his past to propel traditional recipes into the future.
His pioneering approach has earned him a coveted place on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants for the third year running, but Mukhin is adamant he doesn’t do it for for the glory.
“It’s about inspiration. It’s not a job - it’s a way of life,” he says. Indeed, Mukhin’s desire to constantly raise the bar is compatible with the ethos of the Lexus ES - where performance and high-end craft form a perfect union.
EPISODE 3: PIONEERING TASTE
Prolific young chef Miles Thompson is famous for revitalising one of America’s most iconic restaurants, Michael’s Santa Monica. Now, however, he is embarking on something new.
With his mother’s family of Jewish heritage, and his father’s family of black African American heritage, it’s clear that Thompson’s desire to create a hybrid culinary experience comes from a very personal place. Much like the UX, Thompson is forging his own path by taking elements from tradition, yet reinterpreting them for modern tastes.
“I love understanding and making things that are in a traditional manner. But then I like turning it on its head,” he says.
EPISODE 4: ELEVATING TASTE
For Sergio Barroso, food is about elevation. After a career in the most prestigious of Catalan restaurants, Barroso has honed his skills and developed an outlook that is entirely his own.
There is never any fear or hesitation in Barroso’s approach; rather, he embraces the daring impetus to do something that hasn’t ever been done before. New ingredients, new methods, new perspectives: in consistently elevating taste, the only thing Barroso avoids is choosing the conventional path.
Tradition always underpins Barroso’s work. “You need tradition in order to innovate,” he explains, voice edged with passion.
Episode 5: Pioneering Taste
Norway’s southernmost cape has a reputation for being as ruggedly beautiful as it is remote. “We have the biggest variety of ocean creatures,” says chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard, the Danish chef behind Europe's First Underwater restaurant, the 'Under', “Almost every species from the whole of Norway is here.”
Sustainability is at the very heart of Ellitsgaard’s cooking. “It makes sense to me to use things that are in season right here, right now,” says the chef, who cleverly elevates the lowliest marine ingredients to dazzling effect.
At ‘Under’ a stone crab or squat lobster, typically thrown straight back into the sea by fisherman because of lack of demand, takes a starring role. In his hands, the humblest ingredient is transformed into a culinary attraction.
EPISODE 6: EDIFYING TASTE
Michelle Bernstein’s rise to culinary stardom is hardly conventional, but then again neither is she. Starting out as a ballerina in New York, her career was cut short by injury before becoming a classically trained chef.
She found fame after setting up her own restaurants, first ‘Azul’ at the Mandarin Oriental, then ‘Michy’s’, and now she boasts the latest evolution of her epicurean empire ‘Cafe La Trova’ in the heart of Little Havana, Miami.
Famed for her stylish explorations of Latin flavours, her cooking is soulful, bold and vivacious. A fusion of maternal influences and the food scene of her native Miami, “My mother made me fall in love with food from that very first bite,” says Bernstein, whose childhood family recipes still resonate in her own kitchen. “I find myself cooking more like her every day.”
Episode 7: Refining Taste
At the ripe age of 21, Tom Kitchin quickly learnt the meaning of fight or flight when he landed in France under the watchful eye of Gascon great, Pierre Koffmann. His fight, passion and obsession has since seen him not just survive, but thrive.
The fusions of his French endeavours, with his beloved rugged Scottish heritage, culture and flavours have created the reinvention of Scottish classics. Kitchin’s waterfront restaurant which sits on the port of Leith in Edinburgh, provides an unparalleled experience of ingredients-focused, seasonal food.
It's no easy feat building that kind of edible portfolio; Kitchin journeys to the countryside where he hunts, forages and fishes. “Every time I’m out in the countryside I’m finding something new, and it’s sparking ideas for dishes. It’s part of my journey to be out there and explore.”
“It's made for Scotland,” he says about the RX. “The rolling mountains, the tight lanes, the coastal routes–it navigates them seamlessly.” Man, and machine, a living reminder of the joys of living at one with the land.
Episode 8: Transforming Taste
Inspired by the eclecticism of the remote Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia where her Michelin-starred restaurant sits, Antonia Klugmann’s cooking is continuously invigorated by her surroundings.
She celebrates the heritage of both her own diverse lineage, and that of the region. Klugmann is of Austrian-Jewish and Pugliese descent, and found food after switching life courses from a law degree.
“I’m not a follower, it’s important to evolve everyday.”
1) Overseas models shown. Australian specifications & features may differ. See your Lexus dealer for details.
2) LC Morphic Blue Limited Edition is not currently available for purchase in Australia.