Blog 8: A relaxed start to the holiday season

Coperto Restobar loves to share its culinary secrets with readers, with everything from cooking tips, seasonal recipes, culinary trends to backgrounders. This time we take a look at holiday (at home) meals,  with tips for a stress-free Christmas dinner and discuss experimenting in the kitchen with our chef de cuisine Remco Jansen.


Every year many people look forward eagerly to December and the holiday season. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are traditionally associated with cooking good food and enjoying long, fun dinners with friends and family. There are people who love to spend hours in the kitchen turning out a 7-course dinner, while others are overcome by panic at the mere thought of having guests over from Christmas. What to serve, who should we invite, should we dine out or in for Christmas?


Nobody likes to feel stressed during the holidays and you shouldn’t have to either, says chef de cuisine Remco Jansen. He thinks that stress levels spiral out of control at Christmas because people think they should pull out all the stops on the culinary level. They come up with complicated dishes with too many ingredients that take hours to prepare. Not only does this involve a lot of planning, rushing around and uncertainty about how the dish will come out but the food also loses a lot of its authentic taste as a result. Remco’s tip? ‘Start by thinking about what you want to make ahead of time and have a look at different cookbooks. Look for things you like and things you know you are good at making.’


December is all about spending time together so why not cook together? After all, it’s Christmas for your guests, but also for you. So don’t make things needlessly difficult and be kind to yourself.

An example of a dish that’s easy to prepare is carpaccio. While this may seem like a standard, simple dish, there are plenty of different ways you can prepare it. Why not add a special twist and prepare a roast beef carpaccio with lemon mayo, walnuts, and Parmesan cheese, for something different and special? ‘It’s a slightly different carpaccio than people are used to, it’s easy to prepare and you’ll be able to serve your guests something special.’


Make Christmas even jollier, and cook with your guests, while enjoying a nice glass of wine. This year the trend is towards bigger meats, like tournedos, roulade and fillet of beef as well as game, combined with earthy flavours and seasonal products such as beetroot. So should we continue the gourmet tradition 2018 style? Smaller dishes like tapas and sushi are always fun to prepare and share together. End with a dish that is always a hit: fresh fruit and chocolate.


Don’t feel like cooking yourself? Remco and his team will gladly surprise you with a delicious 5-course Christmas dinner, and some nice, live background music. And remember, whether you decide to celebrate in the intimacy of your own home or go to a restaurant during the holiday season, the thing that makes Christmas and New Year so special is the warm fuzzy feeling you get from spending it with friends and family.

We wish you happy holidays and look forward to welcoming you at Coperto Restobar!