Diocletian’s Palace Celebrates 40 Years of UNESCO Protection with Unique Menu

Daniela Rogulj

Matea Višić

June 15, 2019 – 40 years of UNESCO’s protection of Diocletian’s Palace was marked in Split by an extraordinary menu crafted by Portofino and Olja Martinić. 

Garum is a fermented fish sauce that was a popular delicacy at the time of the Roman Empire, which is formed of the bacterial fermentation of the internal organs of fish.

Thanks to the remnants of this sauce found in the amphora at several different locations, scientists have been able to reconstruct the recipe. For the needs of the inhabitants of the Imperial Palace, garum was produced in the Split maritime zone, while the wealthy foodies bought expensive garum produced in Italy, Greece or the Spanish garum factories.


Matea Višić

Thanks to Portofino Steak, Pasta & Seafood in Split, after several hundred years, garum is once again on the plates inside of Diocletian’s Palace.

Namely, on Friday, a spectacular themed ‘Imperial lunch’ was crafted in Split to celebrate 40 years of the UNESCO protection of Diocletian’s Palace. 

“To bring food into focus to show the importance of Diocletian’s palace and the restaurants that are in its heart, we decided to create a menu that can only be enjoyed in a restaurant that has three or more Michelin stars. Every real restaurant must produce garum itself, as there are no longer any factories as there used to be,” said nutritionist, dietician and organizer of the event, Olja Martinić, for Dalmacija Danas


Matea Višić

Each plate was crafted and prepared by the culinary team headed by boss Marko Đurašin, and each dish, which was never before prepared in this way in the city under Marjan, were further refined by Hils winery.


Matea Višić

The culinary tour began with sardines and anchovies, sauerkraut and kale, a Diocletian-inspired Caesar, and butter with garum on bread for the snacks. 

For the second course, guests enjoyed tuna prosciutto, tuna sausage, and bottarga.  The third course was adorned with saffron biscuits, marinated anchovies, and an anchovies ice cream, followed by three different marinades, green olives, pickled veggies and garum. 


Matea Višić

Next up was the barley orzoto with a spicy Dalmatian šalša, sashimi of tuna pancetta and foam of Pecorino Romano cheese – and then, wild pigeon, textured beets, hazelnuts, varenik, and a date foie gras. 


Matea Višić

And for dessert? A cosmopolitan of hydrated strawberries with a lime espuma, a fruit cocktail with smoked goat’s milk ice cream, and oenogarum – garum diluted with wine. 

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