The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) and Great British Chefs (GBC), the leading culinary organization gathering over 200 of the UK’s top chefs, organized an interactive event in London to promote the potential of Croatian cuisine and wine and dine scene as an important part of the Croatian tourist offer. The event featured some of the British Michelin-starred chefs, reports Večernji List on November 21, 2018.
“This is a continuation of excellent cooperation with Great British Chefs, which aims to promote the Croatian gastronomy on the large and important British market. It is also an opportunity for British colleagues to see for themselves the knowledge and skills of Croatian chefs, but also the quality of our local ingredients and top quality wines. The fact that Croatia has a great potential and a good image in this market was confirmed by the response of many leading media outlets who covered the event, including Mail on Sunday, Sunday Times, Independent, Financial Times, Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC and ITV,” said HTZ director Kristjan Staničić, adding that this year there has been more than 852,000 arrivals and 4.4 million overnight stays from the British market so far, which is 8% more than the last year.
The event, featuring the cuisine of central Dalmatia, was held at the well-known London restaurant “Radici”. As part of the programme, one of the best Croatian chefs, Rudolf Štefan, the owner of the Michelin-starred “Pelegrini” restaurant in Šibenik, was introduced to the British media.
“This event is a great opportunity to demonstrate what we have learned in collaboration with GBC and the fantastic chefs. I am glad that the HTZ has decided to support this project which further proves that Croatia is not just a country known for its cultural and natural beauties, but also a country of excellent food and great hosts,” explained Štefan.
The programme also featured stars of the British culinary scene, Francesco Mazzei and Tom Aikens, who recently stayed in Croatia where they were introduced to the local gastronomy traditions. The British duo prepared dishes inspired by the culinary journey during which they discovered authentic Dalmatian culinary traditions of Split, Šolta and Šibenik.
“I am delighted to be able to take part in this event to present our knowledge and experience of the Croatian gastronomy, for now in London, and soon in the whole world,” said Mazzei, while Aikens praised the work of Croatian chef Štefan. “A lot of countries have a passion for gastronomy, but the way Rudi represents Croatian cuisine is unique,” concluded Aikens.
The comments by the British guests showed that the event was a success. Chris Leadbeater of Daily Telegraph emphasized that Croatia was already recognized worldwide by its excellent restaurants and chefs, but that Rudi’s approach to food was an invitation for further exploration of Croatian gastronomy. Natalie Bloxham of ITV said that during the event she had gained insight into another part of the Croatian story and that she would soon visit our country.
Positive impressions have also been confirmed by Ollie Lloyd of Great British Chefs. “We have succeeded in achieving what we wanted to do with this event, which is to have two top British chefs use Croatian ingredients and thus show what they have learned about Croatian gastronomy. All this would not have been possible without good cooperation with one of the best Croatian chefs,” said Lloyd, adding that Francesco Mazzei is a significant player in the London restaurant industry and also a TV star with frequent appearances on BBC and ITV television shows. Tom Aikens is the youngest chef with two Michelin stars and the owner of a restaurant empire that spans several continents.
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