Longines, the Swiss watch brand known for its luxury timepieces, is the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs and will award  watches to the winning horses’ owner, trainer and jockey on both race days as well as have a strong presence throughout other Derby-affiliated events.

John Besh
Celebrity chef John Besh teams up with Longines and Bon Appetit at the Taste of Derby kicking off the Kentucky Derby weekend, Thursday, May 2, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (Diane Bondareff/Invision for Longines/AP Images)

To kick off the brand’s participation in the multi-day event, Longines had a strong presence at last night’s Taste of Derby event. At this event, Longines teamed up with renowned chef John Besh and Bon Appétit to create the perfect guide to throwing an Elegant Kentucky Derby Party, filled with recipes, time-savers and décor tips. At this premier charity event, chefs from the nation’s most delectable cities including Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Louisville, competed in an elegant entrée competition which Longines timed. In keeping with the Derby’s charitable tradition, partial proceeds from this premier event benefitted Dare to Care, a charity dedicated to reducing hunger throughout Kentucky.

John Besh has set the benchmark for fine dining in New Orleans – a town whose identity is bound to food. Each of his nine acclaimed restaurants (August, Besh Steak, Lüke, Lüke San Antonio, La Provence, American Sector, Soda Shop, Domenica and Borgne) celebrates the tradition of the region.

 Jennifer Judkins, Longines U.S. Brand President, poses with the Kentucky Derby trophy and Longines timepieces at the Taste of Derby, Thursday, May 2, 2013, in Louisville, Ky.  Longines, the Swiss watch manufacturer known for its luxury timepieces, is the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the 139th annual Kentucky Derby. (Diane Bondareff/Invision for Longines/AP Images)