Blog 11: Vegetables and herbs fresh from the garden

Every month, Chef de Cuisine Remco Jansen reveals a number of culinary secrets in his blog. From cooking tips to recipes and from culinary trends to background articles, the professionals at Coperto Restobar in Zwolle invite you to join them in their culinary world. In this edition, we discover Remco’s vegetable garden.

Spring is fast approaching, which means it’s a great time to try out different fresh products in the kitchen at Coperto Restobar, the restaurant at Pillows Grand Hotel Ter Borg in Zwolle. “I get really excited when I think about what we can do in the coming months”, says Head Chef Remco Jansen. “It’s once again the perfect time to start sowing seeds. A wonderful time is approaching with a lot of great products.”


Of course, cooking is in the chef’s blood. He knew from a young age that he wanted to end up in a kitchen, preferably professionally. As a child he enjoyed making dishes and working with various crops from his garden. That’s also evident from his passion for his vegetable garden. “When I was about five or six, I had a vegetable garden. That’s one of the reasons why I’m a chef today”, the chef laughs. “That vegetable garden has always stayed with me in a positive way, because I was constantly rooting around in the soil and growing my own vegetables and herbs, both at home and at school. I’ve also spent a great deal of time in vegetable and herb gardens during my career as a cook and chef.” And if one didn’t already exist, it was created.


Remco loves sharing the pleasure he has always taken from his own home-grown products with the readers of his blog and the guests at Coperto Restobar. And this will be really enjoyable soon because March and April are the perfect months to germinate and sow vegetables and herbs. “A vegetable garden is a very general term”, explains Remco. “It can be a crop or herbs, and you can make it as big or as small as you like. You can even create a vegetable garden on your windowsill.” And if you want to make your own salad in the not-too-distant future, now is the perfect time to get started. “You can start with radishes or varieties of lettuce, for example. Radishes and cress grow very quickly. Within a few weeks, you’ll have a product on your table that you’ve grown yourself.” Remco also has some advice for all budding vegetable gardeners: “Start with small vegetables and herbs. These take less energy and patience and you reap the rewards quickly. Fruit is complicated and, most importantly, takes a long time. Don’t start with that.”


The vegetable and herb gardens are very important at Coperto Restobar in Zwolle. “At Coperto, we have a herb garden that we’re hoping to turn into a tea garden. As such, we’re working together with the ‘De Huppe’ care farm, who allow us to grow, cultivate and test a lot of products there. We’re going to cultivate crops that we can incorporate into tea. These include fresh mint, lemon balm, liquorice plant and raspberry leaves.” Remco has big plans for his tea garden, because he enjoys giving his guests a special experience. “We’re thinking about doing a ‘tea experience’ at Coperto”, he explains. “This involves creating a menu consisting entirely of sweet dishes that perfectly combine with home-grown or special types of tea. It’s all about unusual tea with a story behind it. You could call it a food and tea combination.”


The guest’s experience is always the top priority for Remco and his colleagues. At the Coperto Restobar restaurant in Zwolle, the focus is on good, honest food and drink. They treat their guests to high-quality products and an excellent level of service. And spring lends itself perfectly to a wonderful lunch or dinner in Zwolle. Sample the delicious vegetable dishes with exciting herbs, many of which come from local vegetable or herb gardens. Incidentally, did you know that many flower varieties are edible? Come and try them yourself at our restaurant in Zwolle.


Are you curious about the surprising dishes created by Remco Jansen and his team? If so, reserve a table at Coperto without delay and treat yourself to the fine cuisine from our chef and his crew.