Seiji Yamamoto took his time perfecting his cooking skills before opening his own restaurant. After culinary school, Yamamoto joined Hirohisa Koyama’s Aoyagi, where he spent 11 years learning kaiseki.

And perfecting it, he did. Yamamoto is the only chef from Japan who landed in the top 20 best chefs in the world.

Opening his restaurant, Nohonryori RyuGin, to showcase kaiseki cuisine, Yamamoto received two stars in 2008 and then became one of Japan’s best chefs when he was granted his third star.