Chef Matija Bregešcomes from the Pag JRE restaurant Boškinac where he works with local ingredients and where each meal pays homage to the gastronomical heritage and bountiful offer of fish, lamb, cheese, prosciutto and other fresh seasonal and local ingredients
Jeunes Restaurateurs D’Europe (JRE) is an association founded in 1974, today with 340 of the best young chefs in 16 European countries. JRE is proud of the large number of 160 Michelin stars in its ranks, while Croatia can justly be proud with 14 restaurants which conform to the high standards of this society. They are: Monte – Rovinj (MICHELIN *), Pelegrini – Šibenik, Dubravkin put – Zagreb, Marina – Novigrad, Boškinac – Pag, San Rocco – Brtonigla, Draga di Lovrana – Lovran, Pergola – Savudrija, Zigante – Livade, Foša – Zadar, Restoran 360 – Dubrovnik, Badi – Umag, Plavi podrum – Volosko, Bevanda – Opatija.
On April 19, 2017, from a line of its quite interesting events, JRE and its Croatian branch organised a Masterclass by Chef Matija Bregeš from the Boškinac restaurant. The main idea is to unite the strength of brands which share the same key values: superior quality, innovation, knowledge. At each of the Masterclasses in the form of hands-on workshops, participants taste various styles of gastronomy and learn practical knowledge directly from excellent chefs and discover how to fully utilise the performances of the sponsor, Miele brand. To make the experience complete, chef’s creations are accompanied by superior labels of wine, supported by Miva wine gallery, with a welcome always marked by exclusive French bubbles: champagnes from the assortment of Veuve Clicquot, Ruinard or Moet Chandon. Masterclasses regularly take place in the Miele showroom in Zagreb. Since the JRE chefs care about the complete impression, every workshop, along with explanations of techniques and ingredients, pays special attention to the presentation of wine, but also wine glasses by Riedel.
Last Wednesday it was Chef Matija Bregeš’s turn, coming from the Pag JRE restaurant Boškinac where he works with local ingredients and where each meal pays homage to the gastronomical heritage and bountiful offer of fish, lamb, cheese, prosciutto and other fresh seasonal and local ingredients. Everything is accompanied by extra virgin olive oil, spices and honey. Matija brought to his Masterclass curd which he picked up, just before leaving to Zagreb, from a Pag shepherd, a bunch of spices picked the day before outside Novalja, and besides milky Pag lamb, there was also glasswort, a plant much like a small asparagus, flourishing only around the salt works. It has a pleasant saltiness, easily nibbled on in its raw state. Matija also brought from Pag an octopus caught in Pag waters. There was also a hint of the east through spices, such as cinnamon flower (the best part of this plant), with more pronounced aromas than the standard cinnamon bark usually used.
The first course of Matija Bregeš – JRE chef greeting from the Miele kitchen – was a lamb lollipop with an olive sponge and olive oil foam served on a stone from Pag Island whose natural indents were used to hold sticks with lamb snacks. This way Matija showed right away that he too, just like the restaurant he comes from, devotes great attention to presentation which is visually impressive but also thought out in accordance with the terroir. The lamb lollipop with sponge was combined with a glass of superior Veuve Clicquot Brut champagne, a yellow label classic. The next course was a dry octopus ragout with smoked mashed potatoes, sous vide egg and cuttlefish ink touli accompanied by Galić’s white nine from 2014. The participants joined in here – as these Masterclasses intend to teach them about kitchen techniques. The mentioned Galić nine – a coupage of Graševina, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, spending nine months in oak, went great with the smokiness of the octopus. Congratulations to oenologist Slaven who made this fine wine in the difficult 2014, served in a Riedel Montrachet glass originally intended for white Burgundys or aged Rieslings.
The main course – sous vide ham of young Pag lamb with a carrot and anise cream and crunchy potatoes was combined with a glass of an Argentinean classic. Terrazas Malbec Reserva 2015, a wine with wonderful freshness and fruitiness and a barely noticeable velvet touch at the end of the palate. Malbec was served in a gallant Cabernet Sauvignon glass whose balloon was enlarged for the red wine of this style to breathe. For dessert came a curd crème with glazed apples, walnut and cinnamon flower crumble, combined with the Cuj Muškat Špekula 2016 rose. As Matija wanted to present the architecture of this dish, it was served in a Cabernet Sauvignon Riedel glass, and Špekula was served in a Riedel Viogner glass. Meals the participants of the Masterclass tasted are part of the newest menu of Boškinac restaurant, so this was a premiere. This was not the only surprise. Matija brought from Boškinac handmade pralines served on Pag “sheep” which the hotel and restaurant team crafts out of Pag stone… We can hardly wait for the next JRE event on May 17.