Ex­cit­ing new menu at Copthorne’s cel­e­brated restau­rant

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY! -

Two im­por­tant events are about to oc­cur in the life of the Copthorne Ho­tel in Palmer­ston North.

Firstly Jimmy Cook’s, Copthorne’s cel­e­brated restau­rant, will shortly launch its new and ex­cit­ing menu for 2016 and se­condly the restau­rant is one of 10 in the Manawatu re­gion cho­sen to con­test the in­au­gu­ral Plate of Ori­gin, held in con­junc­tion with New Zealand’s Agri In­vest­ment Week in March.

Both will have an im­pact on the dis­cern­ing diner and peo­ple who en­joy the best of food.

Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Jono Maw­ley is de­lighted with the di­rec­tion and suc­cess that Jimmy Cook’s has had over the past 12 months. Con­tribut­ing to this has been the ex­pan­sive menu com­pris­ing of 52 dishes, all up, which has been well re­ceived by both lo­cals and ho­tel guests. But now Jono wants to re­fine it fur­ther. ‘‘From next month I want to take those dis­tinc­tive meals and fur­ther re­fine them with new flavours and new com­po­nents within the dish, us­ing new and dif­fer­ent tech­niques we’ve de­vel­oped over the last few years,’’ Jono says.

‘‘We want to con­tinue cre­at­ing a din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that is above par through flavour, flair and pre­sen­ta­tion. We’ll re­tain our very pop­u­lar iconic sta­ples, such as pork belly, lamb shank and pan seared scal­lops but give them a make-over."

Jono’s com­mit­ment this year is to en­hance his se­lec­tion of lo­cal in­gre­di­ents even fur­ther, sourc­ing the restau­rant’s meat and pro­duce from re­gional sup­pli­ers wher­ever pos­si­ble.

‘‘At a guess, I would say over 95 per cent of our a la carte menu is made on site – clearly a proud fact.’’

Cre­at­ing a new menu is some­thing that Jono and his team ea­gerly an­tic­i­pate. It keeps them fo­cused and on their toes, he says.

‘‘We fac­tor in cus­tomer feed­back, pop­u­lar­ity of cur­rent dishes and re­search mod­ern trends and in­no­va­tive ideas. Watch­ing a new menu come to­gether gives the team a new level of mo­ti­va­tion and sat­is­fac­tion.’’

Jono and gen­eral man­ager Carey Lis­ter are grat­i­fied with the way that lo­cal din­ers have em­braced Jimmy Cook’s.

‘‘Our chal­lenge is to change peo­ple’s think­ing that a ho­tel restau­rant is for guests only. It’s for ev­ery­one who wants to ex­pe­ri­ence the best of food and ser­vice,’’ they say.

To at­tract lo­cal din­ers they have re­duced bev­er­age prices across the board. Now peo­ple can buy a beer or a glass of wine at an af­ford­able price or a bot­tle of house wine from as lit­tle as $20.

‘‘We want to com­pete within the lo­cal mar­ket, of­fer­ing fan­tas­tic food, bev­er­age and ser­vice. Value for money is im­por­tant, so re­duc­ing our bev­er­age price is the way to go.’’

As part of the Plate of Ori­gin, a new com­pe­ti­tion where top Manawatu restau­rants are teamed up with some of the best chefs from around the coun­try, Jimmy Cook’s has been part­nered with highly com­mended Marl­bor­ough restau­rant Ar­bour.

For Agri In­vest­ment Week, run­ning from March 15-19, Jono and Ar­bour’s ex­ec­u­tive chef Bradley Hornby will use their tal­ent to cre­ate a sig­na­ture dish util­is­ing two key com­po­nents sourced from Marl­bor­ough.

The se­lected duo will be Ora king salmon and Cloudy Bay clams. A cre­ative twist will be util­is­ing Cloudy Bay clams from both Marl­bor­ough and lo­cally – Fox­ton Beach.

That dish will be tasted and eval­u­ated by the head judge from Cui­sine mag­a­zine and avail­able for din­ers at Jimmy Cook’s from March 15-19.

‘‘Plate of Ori­gin is a fan­tas­tic idea and re­flects well on our re­gion as well as our restau­rant, our team and the qual­ity of our food,’’ Jono says. ‘‘It al­lows us to rub shoul­ders with the best chefs in the busi­ness which creates those op­por­tu­ni­ties where we can learn from each other.’’

The win­ning en­try will be in­cluded in Cui­sine’s food guide and, in do­ing so, recog­nises na­tion­ally the qual­ity of food in the Manawatu.

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