As head of global product development before retiring in 2007, Richard Parry-Jones became known as Ford's alchemist of vehicle dynamics. He was a rally-car driver in his spare time, and pushed hard to make all Fords a blast to drive.
These days Parry-Jones, 62, is trying his hand at another sort of alchemy; he's opening a restaurant in his native Wales.
"I've always loved cooking," he said. "There will be a lot of Italian influences, but using wonderful Welsh ingredients."
It's not that he lacks for things to do. Parry-Jones also runs a consulting firm and is nonexecutive chairman of Network Rail, the company that operates the United Kingdom's railway infrastructure. And he co-chairs the Automotive Council UK, a nonprofit industry group.
Asked whether he will be the chef of the Coes Faen Lodge, scheduled to open by Easter near Harlech in one of the most scenic parts of Wales, Parry-Jones laughs: "My goodness me, no. My job is design, financial support and interfering in the kitchen whenever the whim takes me."