Chef interviews

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Thank you

Omno Kokmeijer

Interviewed December 2008

Omno is head chef of the Ciel Bleu, which in 2009 was the only two star restaurant in Amsterdam.

Q – How long have you been cooking professionally?

I have been cooking professionally since 1992

Q – Where did you train to cook?

I trained mainly in small family hotel-restaurants; most of them were awarded one Michelin star

Q – How would you describe your style of cooking?

My style of cooking is based on the classic French cuisine, but I aim to be as innovative and creative as possible. We present our guests with a unique take on French cuisine in Ciel Bleu restaurant.

Q – Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?

The key to a successful restaurant is in my opinion teamwork, both in the kitchen and the restaurant. But also between kitchen and restaurant, good communication is of major importance. Motivated and ambitious people make the difference. Next to that you should always focus on innovation, perfection, and keeping up with trends and developments in the culinary world to continuously improve your quality.

Q – Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?

enjoy cooking a combination of scallops with black truffle and Parmesan cheese.

Q – Do you have a favourite ingredient?

Then I would have to say Langoustines.

Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?

My favourite restaurant is the restaurant called “French Laundry” in California of Chef Thomas Keller

What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?

A nice experience was to prepare lunch for the Crown Prince of the Netherlands Prince Willem-Alexander

What would be your “last request” dish?

Croque monsieur with Gruyère cheese and black truffle

Is there another chef that you most admire?

I admire Chef Martin Berasatequi from Spain and Mr. Akira Oshima, Executive Chef & Manager of the Japanese Restaurants of Hotel Okura Amsterdam. The Yamazato restaurant is the only traditional Japanese restaurant in Europe awarded a Michelin star.

Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?

I think you are born to cook, the ambition and passion for the profession is there from the beginning. Of course you can learn and train a lot, but if the passion is there then you have what it takes.

Any final thoughts you’d like to add?     

Cooking is art: cooking is painting with flavour and making poetry from aroma. A method of cooking that is rooted in tradition but involves constant innovation: that’s what we mean by ‘a unique take on French cuisine’. Our daring and creative approach results in an exciting alchemy of flavour, which surprises our guests time and time again.

Current Restaurant

Ciel Bleu