Collaborations have always been about coming together to create—often— something beautiful and unforgettable. It’s for this reason that cross-concept marriages have transcended their status as mere trends to become a fixture in whatever various industries.
The idea of two unassumingly related brands joining forces is rooted in opening new and visionary pathways of exploration, allowing for reimagined possibilities.
A well-crafted collaboration opens the floor for an exchange of ideas. With combined resources, the partnership can provide learning opportunities, develop relationships with new audiences, and even cultivate unique experiences.
And in the F&B industry, when crossovers are done right, they become a voyage of discovery—both for the chefs and brands involved and the recipient of such unions. “The best works come out of collaborations,” said The Bombay Canteen’s Thomas Zacharias
Such is the case of the freewheeling collaboration between culinary arts and luxury vehicles.
A well-crafted collaboration opens the floor for an exchange of ideas. And when crossovers are done right, they become a voyage of discovery—both for the chefs and brands involved and the recipient of such unions.
In 2020, Lexus launched “Culinary Perspectives,” its first-ever global digital cookbook that delivers degustation in droves with a wealth of artful recipes from nine culinary partners across Asia and the Pacific and, in the words of Los Angeles-based chef and restaurateur Nyesha J. Arrington, honors the shared values of Japanese hospitality and creativity.
“The acuity and creativity in which these chefs approach their art featured on this menu are not only ambassadors of Lexus, but fellow travelers, continuously driving forward and not forgetting the pleasure a thoughtful experience can deliver,” she writes in the introduction.
This collaboration may seem like an overreach, but Lexus brings to life something that is often overlooked about food and experiences: how memories and taste are intertwined. According to a 2014 study, there is a direct link between the region of the brain in charge of taste memory and the portion responsible for recording the moment and place where that “flavor” was experienced.
Yet for all that, the biggest attraction remains the inherent result of this seemingly unconventional collaboration—the food itself. It is the singular driver of the discussion that makes well-crafted mobility and guest-oriented consumption work seamlessly together. In its truest sense, Lexus allows consumers to truly “Experience Amazing” through this collaboration.
In browsing the “Culinary Perspectives” recipes, Lexus has memorialized flavorful experiences. Simply seeing the dishes brings back memories of a certain conversation and flashbacks of joyrides to places. It is a well-thought-out collaboration of two different concepts that places the value of craftsmanship on a pedestal.
Speaking of craftsmanship, culinary arts and luxury vehicles have another thing in common: attention to detail. For chefs, every ingredient is well-curated just as every material is carefully chosen for cars. This authentic and refined outcome shows the universality of craftsmanship.
The chicken meatball recipe in the digital cookbook serves as a great example. Created by Easy Peazy’s Yuta and Sharlyn Kobayashi, the hors d’oeuvre is influenced by traditional Japanese techniques, Melbourne’s modern aesthetic, and a zero tolerance for waste policy.
An impressive mileage in group dynamics
This attention to nitty-gritty perspectives points to the next value of collaborations—thoughtfulness. Chefs have the goal of creating dishes that heighten the senses in every bite, just as Lexus is a flag-bearer for visionary experiences in every ride. The parallelism in itself is a reflection of the Japanese principle of omotenashi.
But it is quiet, discreet even, in which this ethos is flexed. It eschews grand gestures and instead upholds authenticity. Taiwan’s Yang Po-Wei promotes this quite deftly in his 48-hour cured mahi-mahi where the precision to cure, ferment, cold dry, and age the tuna, flying fish, and mahi-mahi for a period that can last up to two months, then “present them like flowers” puts the Lexus idea of omotenashi front and center. That is, “calm, in complete control, and delighting in every moment.”
Setting the wheels in motion
This marriage of two industries that seem poles apart gives insights into the beauty of collaboration. The world offers a smorgasbord of experiences, but crossovers make a compelling case for “going places” (figuratively a least), and, as Lexus puts it, “experience amazing” in these times.
“Just like curated culinary moments, one’s senses are all activated and this is why we see an instant connection through crafted meals in travels and journeys,” says Jade Sison of Lexus Philippines.
Taking people to places—whether up on a culinary high or down the memory lane—through food and experiences is always a journey worth exploring. “Just like curated culinary moments, one’s senses are all activated and this is why we see an instant connection through crafted meals in travels and journeys,” says Jade Sison of Lexus Philippines.
If anything, this is what an engineered collaboration has taught us—creating and recreating a sense of vision, originality, and imagination even in the form of a digital cookbook and in the most surreal of times, can build a better future for everyone.