Noisy street. Buses going back and forth. Different countries from all over the world. Each time – different guests. DIVERSO has no problem with such a pace and diversity. On the contrary – being a part of a hotel is one of the advantages of the restaurant.
DIVERSO has already been greeting the visitors of Kaunas for nine years. As it is a part of a Park Inn hotel, naturally it mainly serves the guests of the hotel as well. The restaurant meets the visitors with nice interior, where comfort and modernism emerge, and, of course the dishes of high quality. A manager Indrė is head of the whole restaurant, while the kitchen and its team of twelve people is held in the hands of an experienced chef Rita.
Seasonal, Yet Not Boring.
Both the manager and the chef stress the importance of seasonal produce for their restaurant. The menu changes twice a year, in spring, when light and fresh dishes take the stage, and in autumn, when comfort food is all everyone needs. “We base the menu on the produce at the time, and, of course we do not forget new trends” says the manager Indrė.
However, seasonal does not mean boring or restricting in any way. “We use various new technologies, letting us play with the texture of the ingredients, so it doesn’t get boring and our guests can enjoy different exciting dishes” claims Rita, the chef. “Adopting different technologies, using low temperatures allows us to keep all the natural elements of an ingredient, and to lock all the vitamins in” she adds.
What the Guests Want
Putting the menu together requires effort and creativity. The chef reveals getting the inspiration from trips abroad as well as from various tours. Together with her, the whole team participates in the process of creating a new menu. The manager says that the waiters are especially important because they are the ones who have a direct contact with clients.
„Our waiters are very open, they always try to ask for the opinions of guests, to hear their comments. Collaboration is very important”, says Indrė. Therefore, ingredients at hand are not the only part of the menu – guests’ wishes play a role too.
Identity of Kaunas
Restaurant is mainly focused on the guests of the hotel, because they are the most common clients, but people who live in Kaunas go there too. “Not everyone has the possibility to come to such restaurants, young people usually choose pizza places or fast food in general, but the situation of the restaurants themselves is getting better. They are becoming braver and of better quality” claim the women of DIVERSO, while adding that Kaunas does not have its special dish yet, the face that could be presented to the visitors of the city.
DIVERSO, on the other hand, does introduce the Lithuanian cuisine to its guests. They prepare a corner of Lithuanian dishes during breakfast. Lithuanian cheese, bread, and similar produce are put there to enjoy. „Of course, we want to introduce the country to our guests, but we try to avoid stereotypes. No zeppelins.” says chef Rita. She also believes that traditional and maybe already boring meals can be brought to life with a nice and different presentation.
The restaurant also promotes ideas of sustainability. Since they concentrate only on Scandinavian cuisine, it would be impossible to get all the seafood from the Baltic sea, but the produce brought from somewhere else is mixed together with local produce. That way they can compensate the damage of logistics, and achieve new and interesting dishes.
The chef also aims for diversity not through a variety of impressive different ingredients, but through different ways of preparing lower variety of them. The manager assures to be collaborating with the farmers from Lithuanian regions, who, during season, can provide berries and mushrooms. She also adds that local farmers are starting to grow more produce, so they can offer it with more confidence because they know they can fulfil the requirements of restaurants.
At the time of preparation, the kitchen staff tries to use everything till the last bit, and they recycle as well to avoid waste as much as possible. The food that is not consumed is removed by the companies specialising in the matter. This may seem elementary, but does require effort, and women agree that the effort is worth it.
Both the chef and the manager are very glad they participated in Kaunas Gastro last year. According to them, the restaurant was visited by more than 250 people, and such a huge crowd was one of the main things the team loved about the event. “What stuck with us the most, are the emotions the guests came in with. They were sharing the impressions of other places, and were excited to be surprised again” says Indrė, the manager.
Both women love challenges, that is why they agreed to participate this year. The chef believes that such challenges help the team to grow, embrace creativity and are usually an amazing experience overall. The manager only wants to prepare her staff, so everything would run smoothly, because the feedback is very important for the restaurant. She adds that at the events of such scale, when there are so many people, it is vital not to forget each of them separately. That is why, apart the incredible dishes and atmosphere, she promises a few surprises too.