The Lexus LC Convertible delivers a uniquely exhilarating driving experience that stimulates the senses. Perhaps therefore it was inevitable that Lionel Beccat, a Michelin-star chef who values the connection with nature in his cooking, was immediately drawn to the model. The unity with nature and exhilarating driving experience offered by the LC Convertible, stimulate all the senses and provide Lionel with an unexpected source of culinary inspiration.
Born in Corsica, France, his talent blossomed after studying French cuisine under the Master Chef, Michel Troisgros. He then moved to Japan, where his philosophy towards cooking changed as he spent time reflecting on the art. What prompted the change was nature and the earnestness of the farmer-producers interacting with the Japanese landscape. "I used to cook to express myself," Lionel explains, "but when I encountered the amazing wonders of Japanese nature and the people empowered by it, I realized that it ought to be ingredients that are expressed in the food, not the chef." Now, he believes that “it is my mission and responsibility as a chef” to embrace and value this connection with nature.
And so to experience the power of nature directly, the LC Convertible was the partner of choice. “The natural, flowing design makes it look as if it had been born that way. What it symbolizes is similar to what I look for in a dish,” according to Lionel, giving his first impressions of the LC Convertible. Lionel begins his journey behind the wheel of the LC convertible, a car that resonates with his own philosophy.
Lionel, eager to discover the true meaning behind his cuisine, heads back to Oita Prefecture in southern Japan, a region he has visited in the past. This is a place energized by the earth’s power, nestled as it is, in the bosom of Mount Aso, one of Japan's most famous volcanoes. It is a locale where water is pure, plants are fresh, the air is clean, and the people live in harmony with nature. For Lionel, this is a special place that once helped him connect with nature and changed his views on cooking.
“People say that my cuisine is unique because I possess both French and Japanese viewpoints, allowing me to show two different sides. So, experiencing Japan again through this drive is great for shaping my mentality and philosophy as a chef,” he says.
He takes the wheel and starts driving along the highland route. With the roof open, he can experience the mountain air directly; the steady acceleration releases all five senses to connect with nature.
“You feel at one with the car.” The drive creates a profound sense of freedom, as if the mind were blending into nature. While driving through the magnificent landscape, an image of wild birds, leisurely flying in the sky, occurs to Lionel. He feels as if he too could fly freely to wherever he desired. “Liberté absolue (absolute freedom)” were Lionel's words to describe the drive in the LC Convertible.
When Lionel returned to Tokyo after his trip, he prepared a dish based on his driving experience. One of the key ingredients was the wild bird that came into his mind as he drove through the highlands. “Free and wild, yet graceful and elegant. That is the shared image I had in my mind when I thought of the LC Convertible and wild birds,” Lionel explains. “What you discover through traveling enriches you and, in my case, is food for thought as a chef,” says Lionel as he reflects on his trip.
Food and cars. At first they may seem unrelated but Lionel explains that there are definite similarities: “Eating and driving are both physical sensations. They both need to appeal to the five human senses.” Those words signify the determination of a man set to satisfy the endless desires of the "human senses". Lionel concluded that, "There is no final goal to creating things. So, just as LEXUS continues evolving, I hope to take on further challenges myself."