Another dynamic duo in the kitchen are Arjan Speelman and Onno Kokmeijer, who lead Ciel Blue’s flagship restaurant of Hotel Okura Amsterdam. The “guestronomic” experiences they offer earned a star from Michelin two years after the restaurant opened in 2003 and then a second in 2007.

Having known each other since their college days, Speelman and Kokmeijer’s culinary teamwork began 16 years ago when Kokmeiger was promoted to head chef at Le Merlet. He asked Speelman to be his right-hand.

Kokmeijer, recently named Chef of the Year, started cooking at 17, working in a number of Dutch restaurants before becoming Ciel Bleu’s executive chef and manager, with Speelman serving as chef de cuisine.