Blog 15

The art of a new menu card

At Coperto Restobar in Zwolle, the menu changes about five or six times per year. Variety is the spice of life, the saying goes, but that is not the only reason why the crew of this Zwolle restaurant likes to make changes to the menu. Remco Jansen, Chef de Cuisine at Coperto Restobar: “The opinion of our guests is extremely important to us and I think it is vital to keep innovating.”


How does that actually work, a menu change? Remco smiles because he is closely involved in the whole process. “We make an extensive schedule with every change involving the entire kitchen team. They provide a lot of input for the new menu.” Remco believes it is important that the team is a big part in the development of the new menu card; “They have many ideas and together with me and the hotel manager, we come to creative and tasty dishes.”


Creating a new menu card takes approximately five weeks. “The dishes must be determined. The way of working is almost always the same. First the ingredients, often depending on the season, then I think of the taste, that’s the most important thing of the whole process. After that, we focus on the presentation.” At a later stage, the dishes are tasted during a so-called wine / food tasting where Peter Hoiting comes up with the perfect wine pairing. Here too, the chef is open to changes in taste tones if this benefits a nice wine. “If everything is correct, then the card goes to print!” Just before the menu is introduced, the dishes are presented to the team. They learn how to create the new dishes and what the pairing wines and, not unimportant, the stories behind the products and ingredients. That is one of the things that makes our service unique. We know what we serve and where the ingredients come from.”


The seasons also determine the dishes that will be on the menu. “We have a great cooperation with the local care farm De Huppe. I get a lot of products from that place and together we have prepared a harvest plan.

That way we know which vegetables are coming and we have fresh supplies of the right, local and fresh products all year round. A nice local collaboration. In addition, there are products that you would like to use at certain times. Think of asparagus around May, strawberries in the summer months or game in the autumn. But also magnolia, which smells nicely of roses and has a nice aroma, is a favourite of Remco. “These products are special and I don’t want to withhold that from our guests. That is why we offer them at the moment when they are at their best.”


The Christmas menu in particularly requires a lot of planning. Already in August there is thought about what will be served during the Christmas season. “Of course I can’t do that by myself. Also the  duty and hotel manager are strongly involved and together with the kitchen brigade we create this special menu.” For this holiday season, the team has decided to do things slightly differently than in previous years. “We will also roll out the restobar concept during Christmas. Our guests can choose from several small dishes. Think of no fewer than eight to nine tasteful dishes from which the guest can put together their own six, seven or even eight course dinner. That is different than before when we served five or six courses as a surprise menu. ”


Adjusting the menu provides a lot of variation. “Especially for returning guests, that’s nice,” Remco explains. “Every time we determine which dishes did well and were popular. The feedback from our guests is essential. We always listen to them.” A good example of the choice of guests, is the popular pulled turkey dish. “We’ve taken this dish off the menu for a while, but now, on many requests, we will add it to the menu again. I certainly appreciate that, because it’s a nice compliment for me and my team.”


Curious about the menu at Coperto Restobar? We welcome you to reserve a table and let us serve you culinary dishes.