Interview Celebrate the holiday season with Hotel Okura Amsterdam

My name is Iiro Heinila, and I have been working as a pastry chef for over 30 years, 20 years of which at Hotel Okura Amsterdam. Sweets and pastries are my passion and how I can express my creativity. My job is very diverse, from creating desserts for our restaurants to making special (themed) showpieces and inventing personalized amenities for our guests.

The upcoming holiday season is the next opportunity to create a unique centrepiece for the hotel lobby and holiday inspired sweets for our guests.

Creating new ideas starts with the team. We have a dedicated team, comprised of specialists in different fields including making artful creations out of chocolate, in our very own chocolate room. We all continuously search for new trends in magazines and get inspired on our (international) trips. For example, personally, I try to go to Brussels two or three times a year for inspiration. In our pastry shop, as we call our kitchen, we use Belgian and French influences but we create our own style, always including a touch of Japan. For instance, the desserts we make for Yamazato* have an international look but are strongly focused on Japanese ingredients.

We, the pastry team and I, hope to welcome you during the Christmas period to experience a festive afternoon tea around the Christmas tree to enjoy our sweets with matching tea.

Kind regards,
Iiro Heinila