Gault&Millau Croatia 2024 Awards Trophies to Best Croatian Chefs & Restaurants

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All images: Goran Jakus & Damira Kalajzic/GM

April the 19th, 2024 – The seventh edition of the Gault&Millau Croatia 2024 international guide was formally presented at a gala dinner in Zagreb’s Esplanade Hotel recently.

During the presentation, trophies were awarded to the best chefs and restaurants across Croatia, the quality of which is assessed by the guide’s independent inspectors.

Chef of the year according to the gastronomic guide Gault&Millau Croatia 2024 is Marko Đurašević from Split. Three Big Chef of Tomorrow trophies were also awarded to Gabriela Filca from the Nebo restaurant in Rijeka, Hrvoje Kroflin from Mano2 restaurant in Zagreb, and Roko Nikolić from ZOI restaurant in Split.

The Chef’s trophy of traditional cuisine went to Vinko Krnić,from Konoba Vinko from Konjevrat, while Braco Sanjin from Griblja in Sukošan won the Chef’s Trophy of modern traditional cuisine. The Young Talent of the Year trophy was won by Antonel Goret from Zinfandel Food & Wine Bar in Split, and Marin Pleše, chef of the restaurant Villa Rova in Malinska.

The best pastry chef was declared Dragana Kovačević from the Spinnaker restaurant in Poreč. The trophy for the best service went to Pelegrini from Šibenik, and Boogie Lab from Zagreb won the trophy for the best POP place. Josip Friščić, from the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb, also received a special Trophy for Merit.

The guests of the gala ceremony were especially greeted by Ingrid Badurina Danielsson, director of the Croatian edition of the Gault&Millau guide, Slavija Jačan Obratov, director of the Croatian Tourist Board’s system and product development sector, and Mirko Herceg, adviser to the Minister of Tourism and Sport.

The best restaurants that have earned four points in this year’s edition of the international Gault&Millau Croatia guide are: 360 from Dubrovnik, Nebo from Rijeka, Monte and Cap Aureo Signature from Rovinj, Mano2, NAV, Noel, Tač and Zinfandel’s from Zagreb and Pelegrini from Šibenik.

Awards to the best restaurants and chefs were also presented at an exclusive dinner – Night of Culinary Oscars – in the Emerald Hall of the Esplanade Hotel, where more than 90 leading chefs from different Croatian restaurants gathered this Thursday. Numerous guests and partners of the Gault&Millau Croatia guide were also present.

This year’s selection includes 300 top Croatian restaurants, 108 POP – popular places (bistros, street food establishments, snack bars, pastry shops), and a selection of 100 best wines and 20 olive oils from all over Croatia.

At the Gault&Millau Croatia ceremony, the Raise the Bar Academy scholarships were handed out once again. 87 participants have passed through the programme over the past five years, and so far, 18 young chefs and pastry chefs have won valuable scholarships that enabled them to pursue their professional training at the world’s best schools, such as the Ecole Ducasse, Le Cordon Bleu and ALMA, as well as internships in some of the most prestigious restaurants.

This year’s scholarship winners were Kate Svaguša from Makarska, Rea Gabriela Vrsalović from Brač, Antonio Banovac from Split and Jela Šaban from Zagreb.

The Gault&Millau dinner is otherwise the largest annual gathering of Croatian restaurant chefs, where they become the guests for a change. The highlight of the evening is the awarding of prestigious awards to the best of the best.

The Chef of the Year trophy and a gift certificate were presented to Marko Đurašević by Vedran Bego – director of the wholesale and distribution business segment of Konzum, whose Velpro brand is a premium partner of Gault&Millau Croatia. The great chefs of tomorrow were delighted by a gift from Dukat – a trip to Roquefort, to visit the famous cheese ripening caves – which was presented to them by Zoran Ković, the company’s CEO, and Iva Kuhtić, the marketing director.

Other trophies were presented to the best chefs by the heads of partner companies that support this gastronomic guide: Kruno Rozić – marketing manager of CCHBC Adria, Mihaela Kadija, director of the Zadar County Tourist Board, and Irena Peršić Živadinov, director of the Kvarner Tourist Board. Along with the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, the aforementioned tourist boards presented their gastronomy. In addition, the new project, Stories, a platform for the promotion of premium tourism in different categories, which was initiated by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, was presented.

The awarding of the trophies was led by Frano Ridjan. The Gault&Millau Croatia 2024 gastronomic guide is globally available here, and the printed edition of the guide can be purchased in Tisak Media bookstores and Tisak Plus stores for 20 euros.

During the dinner, the book Croatian Cuisine by Zlatko Marinović, the legendary chef from Split, was promoted, and all the winners of the Gault&Millau trophy received it as a gift.

The exclusive six-course dinner was cooked together by chef Ludovic Turac, holder of the Great Chef of Tomorrow trophy according to Gault&Millau France 2024, and the chef of the restaurant Une Table au Sud from Marseille, Michelin* and 3 toques Gault&Millau France. Ana Grgić Tomić, G&M Croatia Chef of the Year 2022, chef of the Zinfandel’s restaurant at the Esplanade Hotel, Michelin Green* and 4 Gault&Millau Croatia wines, was also heavily involved.

The dinner began with premium Veuve Clicquot Brut champagne for an aperitif, Planet of Plants hummus canapés and President’s brie cake. Top wines from the Belje, Agrolaguna, Kuće Vina Katunar, Bora and Markus Fine Wines were served alongside creative fish and meat dishes.


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