When I was planning to go and check out some hotels and restaurants to see what they have to offer for coeliacs, I foolishly thought that it would be a lot of work and I would have to visit many different places. I went through a couple of websites, I asked coeliacs or people who live with coeliacs, but the only two tips I got were biorestaurant Albio in Truhlářská Street and the hotel Pyramida in Břevnov. I found out that all that remains of the biorestaurant in Truhlářská Street is just the website with a menu to download, so I headed for the hotel Pyramida in Břevnov. In the hotel’s restaurant called Koppernik, I was awaited by the chef, Vladimír Kožíšek, with a menu including gluten-free meals. At last!
How long is it since the restaurant started offering gluten-free meals?
I have been here since last August. At that time, a change of the menu was in process. I completed it and included some gluten-free meals. The menu was launched in December. From then on, we have also been cooking for coeliacs.
How many gluten-free meals are on the menu?
We do not have a separate menu for coeliacs, but we have maybe fifteen meals labelled as gluten-free on our regular menu. These include starters and cold and warm dishes. There is only one dessert, though, which is a sundae. In the restaurant Koppernik, our guests can make up their meals just as they want to. We also do buffets for company parties. If there are some coeliacs, we can prepare a gluten-free meal for them too. And upstairs in the hotel, there is a breakfast buffet, where, at request, guests can also get gluten-free bread.
Were gluten-free meals your idea?
Our director, Martin Gerstman, has a daughter who is coeliac. I had already worked with him in the hotel Jalta, where we had sort of promoted gluten-free diets a little bit. So this time the idea just brushed off on us.
Do many clients order gluten-free meals?
We cannot say that many, but there are a few.
How many people come to Koppernik each day and order gluten-free meals?
We do not do such statistics. But judging from the food that we use up, I’d say it might be around ten people a week.
Do you think that the low demand is caused by the price of the meals?
Certainly not. The price of gluten-free meals is comparable to other meals on the menu. Sometimes, e.g. we make gluten-free spaghetti at the guests´ request, but we still do not raise the price of them. It does not mean anything for us considering the amount of meals we make and the guests are happy because they still pay the same price.
Does not gluten-free cooking cause problems for the cooks, when they need to use clean pots and pans, water, oil, in short everything, in order to prepare a gluten-free meal?
It mostly causes problems to me when I force them to observe these cooking guidelines (smile). I always tell them to cook as if they cooked for their children. And I am convinced, that since we do not make many such meals, the cooks observe the rules. Besides, the meals were chosen in such a way that one thing does not contaminate the other.
Are you considering extending the offer for other people with special diets – e.g. diabetics?
We do not have such meals on our menus, but when we prepare buffets and we are told that there will be some diabetics, vegetarians, vegans or dietarians, we are glad to prepare some diet corner for them as well.
What are the restaurant’s opening hours?
It is simple. Daily from 11 am. to 11 pm.
Does it mean that a coeliac can order a meal even at 11 pm.?
Yes, the kitchen is open until midnight, so the cooks would always be able to prepare some quick meal.