Culinary Masters Competition


Our best tasting issue ever - Meet 5 of the world's greatest chefs and their nominees for the top new artist of the next generation. Plus, Ferrari in France: rare 250 GTOs rally from Champagne to Paris. Grand Openings: new hotels and resorts in Italy, Japan, Turkey & Vietnam.

From This Issue

The Robb Reader: Herbie Hancock

Over his five-decade career, jazz musician Herbie Hancock has played and collaborated with everyone from Miles Davis to Dave Matthews to former President Bill Clinton. The 14-time Grammy Award winner attributes his success in music to his ability to reinvent himself. Even today, Hancock is always expanding his repertoire and staying on top of the […]

Style: Signature Stones

George Frederick Kunz was the Indiana Jones of his day. Kunz—who in 1879, at age 23, became Tiffany & Co.’s first chief gemologist—climbed the Ural Mountains of Russia, explored the African deserts, and braved the steppes of Siberia in search of rare and precious gemstones. His tenacity is matched today by Tiffany’s team of buyers, […]

Wheels: Shedding Some Light

The SL models from Mercedes-Benz have consistently offered drivers technical innovation, blue-chip styling, and reliable performance since the carmaker introduced the series nearly six decades ago with the 300SL, the original Gullwing. The new, 2013 SL63 AMG, the model’s sixth generation, delivers in this same vein, and it is absolutely true to its Sport Leicht designation. […]

Wings & Water: Sea Change

Generations have passed since cruise ships were high-society affairs that called for black ties and ball gowns. Rather, at some point in the mid-20th century, cruise liners cast aside galas and gourmet cuisine in favor of all-you-can-eat buffets and waterslides. Hyperbolically named ships like Majesty of the Seas and SuperStar Aquarius began dumping thousands of […]

Oh My, Darlings

Though Darlings Danama is the 130th vessel to launch from CRN’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy, and the sixth yacht in the builder’s 197-foot series, this sleek new charter vessel is unquestionably one-of-a-kind. The nearly 50-year-old shipyard, which joined the Ferretti Group in 1999, worked with the designers at Studio Zuccon International Project (a longtime Ferretti […]

Travel: Wales Tale

“YAAAAHoooooo!”   A “coasteerer” clad in a wet suit, life preserver, helmet, and sneakers whoops at the top of his lungs as he cannonballs from a 12-foot-high cliff into the Irish Sea off of St. Davids, Pembrokeshire, in southwestern Wales. The participant in this quirky local sport will also scramble up rocks, climb along slippery […]

Spirits: Sovereign Savor

In 1939, King George VI became the first reigning British monarch to make a royal tour of Canada. To mark the momentous occasion, Canada’s first fam­ily of whiskey, the Bronfmans, created a blend of some 50 corn, rye, and barley whiskeys, many of which hailed from their distillery in LaSalle, Quebec, which they established in […]

Sport: Fly Away Home

The Eurocopter AS350 Astar landed in our backyard at about 9 am. Within a few minutes we were flying high over Revelstoke, British Columbia, our small group of skiers looking down on the Columbia River while our pilot searched for an opening in the thick fog above. Powder-covered peaks waited on the other side of […]

Home Electronics: Sound that Stacks Up

Antisocial audio purists and late-night listeners were until recently the primary users of headphones, but the popularity of iPods and other portable devices and the prevalence of streaming digital files have catapulted them to the forefront of the music scene. And while even mid-priced headphones eclipse most so-called high-end speakers in their presentation of sonic […]

Autos: Pure and Not Simple

When the Boxster concept car hit the show circuit in 1993, the fresh design foreshadowed Porsche’s return to a no-frills sports car reminiscent of the marque’s 1950s-era 550 Spyder. The Boxster was the first true mid-engine Porsche since the unloved 914, and when production began in 1996, Porsche purists hailed it as the brand’s best-handling […]

Collectibles: Catch a Falling Star

On October 9, 1992, thousands of people along the United States’ Eastern Seaboard watched a chunk of cosmic debris dart across the sky on its way to landing in Peekskill, N.Y., where it hit a parked car in the final seconds of its journey. At least 16 spectators captured the meteorite’s flight on video; some […]

Golf: Links to the Old World

Befitting its name, Nova Scotia is a verdant, windswept coastland that looks just like Scotland. With the opening of Cabot Links—a delightfully authentic links golf course on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island—the Canadian province now plays like Scotland, too.   Located in the wee village of Inverness, Cabot Links possesses all the traits that mark […]

Watches: Youth Evolution

The current CEO of the Geneva-based watch brand Romain Jerome, Manuel Emch, describes his company in the years before he was hired as “some kind of design-and-marketing laboratory.” Under its former top executive, the mercurial Yvan Arpa, the brand garnered much attention for its imaginative designs, but some of its more extreme experiments—watches laced with material […]

Wardrobe: Travelin’ Man

Gucci has long provided accessories for traveling in style. Indeed, the Italian fashion house, whose offerings now range from car interiors to iPad cases, was founded by Guccio Gucci, in 1921 in Florence, as a luggage atelier.   Gucci’s signature clothing designs, bearing the GG logo or a horsebit embellishment, were made famous by celebrities […]

Marrakech Expression

When a chicago-based real estate investor and design aficionado first visited the site for her winter residence at the Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif., her architectural vision was clear. “I immediately knew I wanted a traditional Moroccan riad here in the desert,” says the homeowner, who has remodeled several of her own houses—including […]

A Toast to the 250 GTO

Once upon a decadent time, around 1670, Pierre Pérignon, a young Benedictine monk and cellar master at the Abbaye d’Hautvillers, near the town of Épernay in northern France, applied his intuition and trial-and-error techniques and created Champagne. After taking the first sip of his sparkling wine, he called to his fellow monks, “Come quickly—I am […]

Culinary Masters Competition 2012: Rare Birds

Masa Takayama is renowned for his Japanese restaurant Masa, a serene, 26-seat space in New York City’s Time Warner Center where the chef presides over meals made from sublime ingredients and served at a luxurious tempo. His rarefied sushi, which may be lavished with caviar or truffles, and other dishes have garnered three stars from […]

Culinary Masters Competition 2012: A Cure for the Commonplace

José Andrés may be one of the most innovative chefs in America, but he came up through the profession in the conventional way. Born in Asturias, Spain, he entered the kitchen when he was just a teenager, attending culinary school and serving a long apprenticeship at El Bulli, the revolutionary restaurant in Catalonia where Ferran […]

Culinary Masters Competition 2012: The Accidental Apprentice

Mourad Lahlou remembers pressing his nose up against the glass of Michael Mina’s Aqua some 20 years ago, fascinated by what looked to be the most exciting restaurant in the city. When Lahlou, who had moved from his native Morocco to San Francisco to earn a master’s degree in economics, eventually saved up enough money […]

Culinary Masters Competition 2012: Advantage Ohio

As one of the original chefs to combine French techniques with local and seasonal ingredients—a practice that results in dazzling dishes with robust flavor—Charlie Palmer is one of the most influential pioneers of new American cuisine. His first restaurant, Aureole, which opened in a townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in 1988, instantly defined a […]

Culinary Masters Competition 2012: A Tip of the Toque

Eric Ripert makes the extraordinary look effortless. Throughout his 18-year tenure as executive chef of Le Bernardin in Manhattan, Ripert has seen the restaurant consistently receive four stars from The New York Times. Michelin has been just as generous, bestowing its top rating of three stars on Le Bernardin year after year—an achievement made all […]