Rosemary and Goat Cheese in Spotlight for Second Gastroadvent Sunday at Chops Grill

Daniela Rogulj


December 8, 2019 – The second Gastroadvent Sunday was held on December 8, 2019, at the finest steakhouse in Split – Chops Grill. This time, rosemary, goat cheese, wine and olive oil from Šolta, and radio journalists were in the Advent spotlight. 


Gastroadvent is a unique manifestation that fuses nutrition, gastronomy, and tourism while highlighting some of Split’s favorite restaurants on the less busy days of December. For the past ten years, the event has promoted the Mediterranean diet and has left a mark through its work on Mediterranean ingredients. 


Thus, every Sunday of December, valuable hosts, patrons, partners and journalists gather to honor not only the light they bring to Split, but also to recognize the integral ingredients found in the Mediterranean region. 

And this year, the central ingredient of Gastroadvent is invaluable to the city of Split.

Namely, rosemary is a fundamental part of the Mediterranean diet. It is originally from Europe and has been used since ancient times when students decorated their heads with rosemary wreaths, thinking that it has a beneficial effect on memory. Rosemary leaves and the essential oil obtained by distilling leaves are officially medicinal according to European regulations. Rosemary leaf contains natural phenolic compounds and is therefore considered medicine and a spice. By its antioxidant properties, it is the most potent food. It grows on rocky soil, withstands salt and high temperatures, and its habitat is carbonate rocks.


Rosemary could not exist without its home, stone. The same stone that Diocletian’s Palace is made of, which was protected 40 years ago by UNESCO. This year’s Gastroadvent wreath is made of stone and was crafted by the students of the Stonemasonry School in Pucisca, Brac, which boasts 120 years of existence. 

Furthermore, goat cheese is higher in nutrients than all other cheeses. Last year, archaeological excavations near Šibenik revealed that Dalmatia is the home of goat cheese. Namely, according to the American scientists who analyzed and found the DNA of fats in vessels during the excavation, goat cheese was produced in Dalmatia some 7,200 years ago!

Thus, on Sunday, the famed chef at Chops Grill crafted a unique menu illuminating these indispensable ingredients of the Mediterranean. 

For starters, guests enjoyed lollipops of dates and prunes, with crumbles of hazelnut, pistachios and rosemary, Christmas eggs filled with a foam of potatoes and an aroma of Adriatic pine, truffle and rosemary sabayon, creme fraiche and caviar. The savory ‘Oreo’ was made of coffee and dehydrated black olives stuffed with foie gras cream, parmesan, and goat cheese, while the nori algae cone was filled with quinoa in rosemary oil, tuna pancetta tartar, and caviar of trout and chives.





The pasta galettes featured a spicy tomato sauce and Ichiban dashi from black Slavonian pig, while the cod confit was mixed with Mediterranean herbs, kale, potatoes, seaweed and plankton pil-pil. The warm beef wellington was served with potato and rosemary and Perigord sauce of black truffle.



For the sweet moment, in the end, guests could choose from chocolate cupcakes to doughnuts, fresh fruit, goat cheese, white chocolate, white truffle and rosemary honey, and Christmas gingerbread.


All bites were paired with the Dobričič Villa Superior wine from the island of Šolta, made from grapes of autochthonous Dobričić variety, and characterized by a dark and opaque color. It boasted an intense cherry flavor with a touch of blueberry jam, while the smell could be attributed to dried fruits such as dried figs, nuts or even dried tobacco leaves. The vineyard is located on the rocky southern part of the island and is surrounded by huge drywalls. The vineyard was planted in the early 1960s and is a monument to the time when the production of wine on Šolta was an important factor in the survival of its inhabitants. This vineyard witnessed the decline and near disappearance of this valuable variety, as well as its revitalization. Its longevity definitely affects the rich structure and robustness of this wine.


You might also recognize the Šolta Olive Oil on offer after it was crowned “The Best in Class” as the best oil in the class of environmentally friendly monosortic oil of medium intensity in the world at the New York International Olive Oil Competition back in May. 


This edition of Gastroadvent even had an environmental touch, as eco nautical starter boxes were displayed to encourage keeping the Adriatic clean.


Gastroadvent is held every Sunday of Advent at a different location in Split. Total Split will be reporting all December long. 

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