Blog 14: Delicious regional products!​

Just because something comes from far away, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better or more delicious. That’s the philosophy of Chef de Cuisine Remco Jansen of Coperto Restobar in Zwolle. Remco and his team get a lot of products and ingredients from the local region. “There are some fantastic products grown and produced here in Zwolle and the surrounding area. For instance, we have a great bakery in Zwolle and fresh vegetables, herbs and dairy products are available practically a stone’s throw away.”

Before Remco started working in the kitchen in Zwolle in September 2017, he first did some research into the local area. To discover what the region could mean for him and Coperto. “Julia Vijftigschild, the hotel manager, gave me all the space and time I needed to familiarise myself by exploring the region. I’m from the Arnhem area, and Zwolle was new terrain for me. My search was really enjoyable and has definitely paid off. This area has wonderful products and really good business owners.” Remco thinks it’s very important that he has a good relationship with the local business owners. They make each other stronger. “It has added value for me to get local products. This creates valuable partnerships and keeps the logistic lines short, which is also better for the environment in many ways.”


The needs of the guests are the top priority when creating the dishes offered at Coperto Restobar. Remco and his team want to surprise the guests with beautiful and delicious creations. “Part of this entails using products from the region as much as possible,” explains Remco. “Have you ever had a sandwich from De Stadsbakker in Zwolle? In our view this is really the best bakery in the area. We regularly discuss what we want with De Stadsbakker, and they make bread specifically for us to use in Coperto and Grand Hotel ter Borch. Both for breakfast and dinner.


“I also think it’s important that our staff are able tell the guests a lot about the products and ingredients we use. That makes it unique,” explains Remco. Coperto’s guests can appreciate this and ultimately taste the care that is put into selecting the chosen products and preparing our dishes. “We’re happy to explain what local products we use, the intention behind them or how the collaboration came about.”


“Our vegetables, herbs, flowers and dairy products are largely from the De Huppe care farm. I have regular contact with them and I’m there a lot! At the beginning of this year, for example, we devised a plan and together made a schedule that lists which vegetables and herbs to grow and when they’ll be ready for harvest so that we always have locally sourced vegetables.” The dairy produce also comes from De Huppe. “The cheese at breakfast is made with milk that comes from local cows.” As is apparent, the chef is hugely involved with this farm and contributes to their work. For example, he cooks with the participants of the care farm and gives them clever and creative ideas about how to market their products.”


Remco really enjoys building a good relationship where both parties reap the rewards. “I always like to invite the local business owners to come and sample our dishes, which leads to nice collaborations. A good example of this is that Arend, from De Stadsbakker in Zwolle, gave me a great compliment after a delicious dinner in Coperto by saying that he thought my cheesecake was the best he’s ever tasted in Zwolle. Now we’re looking at what we can do with this recipe in his bakery. This is still in its infancy, but there are some fun ideas. I get a lot of energy and value from these types of local collaborations.”


Pillows Grand Hotel ter Borch also benefits from local connections. When guests stay overnight at the hotel, they are pleasantly surprised with a complimentary bonbon made by a local confectioner from the city of Zwolle. Bonbonnière Borrel makes these delicious treats for Pillows Hotels in different seasonal flavours. “It’s a nice welcome,” smiles Remco.


If you’re curious about the dishes and the stories behind the products that Remco and his team use, come and have a taste for yourself. Enjoy a culinary surprise and a delicious lunch or a beautifully composed dinner. Book a table today.