Cooking is a hobby, profession, calling or otherwise a lifestyle that runs deep. There are novice cooks, young chefs and seasoned veterans that share a bond of needing to 'live cooking.' Days revolve around cooking, cookware, cook books, cooking shows, great food and cleaning up afterwards. For some, having every single kitchen tool is a quest in itself; mastering the use of those tools comes with its own set of challenges. For others, amassing inordinate numbers of volumes in their cook book collection is its own part-time job. All the while, for those of us with a known addiction to all things cooking, there exists a segment of the retail market that spurs us on like a dieting chocoholic on a bender, tempting us with bits and pieces that we know are indulgences, but, yet we go forth and fulfill our craving. I have a pewter mortal and pestle that I treasure as it sits under a set of chef's toque book ends cast in delicate plaster. Next to the book ends, rests a marble memo pad holder in the shape of a pudgy little chef. I have a gorgeously crafted brass Turkish coffee mill that has a patina aged with many years of oxidation; mostly impractical for the aggression to which it is manhandled in a busy kitchen, but it screams "the owner of this coffee mill is a cook who treasures kitchen artifacts." The holiday season is but another reason to give in to the compulsion and obsession of feeding the cook-aholic's cravings. Rather than a feeding of cheap chocolate, good for a quick hit, go for works of art that hold their meaning throughout the year, and beyond.
So, think big picture; revert your gift-giving to the origins of cooking, itself. Cooking is defined as the marriage of heat and time. Both are controlled variables, with some degree of success with experience and the right tools. A source of fire, be it over a pile of sticks or from a Montague range will, at least in part, makes half of the equation come to life. So, it only makes sense that the serious cook should have a timepiece worthy of the rigor of a demanding kitchen. It should stand up to the criminal treatment with which we subject our bodies - banging around a busy cooking line, hands plunged into water for ware-washing and rinsing the remnants of a just-broken down salmon or pig and the constant battering against the unruly broken door of the walk-in. Morpheus's Culinary entry into the world of the serious cook knocks its way into the field as seriously as we knock about the kitchen.
The Culinary is no hiker's or diver's watch with a cutesy cooking decal affixed. This creation is all business! The design echoes the rugged look of a professional kitchen, with its industrial edges, a stove's gas-knob inspired crowns and pot-handle appearance of the cover above the crown. But its heft is what will make for a functional tool of a busy kitchen. The Culinary is hearty, solid and sophisticated. The dial is large enough to be seen through grease-speckled glasses and that view of the dial won't likely be scarred with scratches or nicks. Morpheus's designers understand the brutality of a commercial kitchen, so they built the Culinary with a synthetic sapphire crystal that is much harder than what you find on most watches, even those more costlier than the Morpheus model. Make no mistake about it -this watch is a proud participant and first-string player in the Full Contact Cooking League.
The time management component of keeping your cooking on target is made that much easier with the Culinary. An easy to use timer embedded neatly on the watch face keeps your focus on the fire rather than the clock. And the luminous (glow in the dark) hands on the watch face make for easy time telling when trekking into the, often, low light of the walk-in cooler. The water-resistance of the Morpheus creation rids the fear of ruining a great looking timepiece with the constant wash-rinse-sanitize of the daily routine of kitchen dwellers.
Finally, a watch with us in mind! This watch waxes sentimental of what serious cooks want to be; hard working, dependable, functional and smart enough to assimilate with the guests that feast in our dining room, without looking like we just crawled out of an industrial feed line. Oh, and the cool looking 'Culinary' emblazoned on the side of the watch case lets the world know who the wearer is… and why he may smell like beef stock or red wine. Or both.
Availability: The Morpheus Culinary is available from MorpheusWatches.com, a Nevada-based company. The Culinary, with leather band and stainless steel case, as pictured, sells for $350. Other models, including a gold-plated version, range to $595.