“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.
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.