Split Gastroadvent 2020 Kicks Off at Makarun with Vitamin D-Packed Mediterranean Menu

Daniela Rogulj

November 29, 2020 – The first Advent Sunday candle of Split Gastroadvent 2020 was lit by print media journalists at Makarun restaurant. Given the current corona world, a Vitamin-D-inspired Mediterranean menu was the star of the show. 

Split Gastroadvent is a unique event that fuses nutrition, gastronomy, and tourism. With several years of dedicated work on gathering knowledge and skills, it reaches everyone and all parts of the world, through the image, pen, and voice of dedicated journalists, who bring light to Split in this unusual year as well.

As 2020 marks the jubilee 10th anniversary of recognizing the Mediterranean diet, this year’s theme pays great attention to the sea. The Mediterranean Sea boasts an area of about 2.5 million km² and connects all countries of the original Mediterranean diet.

Following this theme, this year’s Gastroadvent wreath is also dedicated to the sea and its preservation. The seafoam wreath symbolically and literally simulates the sea world and is created from discarded trash and plastic. The Mediterranean diet theme inspired prominent sculptor Nives Čičin Šain to send a message in an artistic way: “Let’s preserve our sea and the life in it that feeds many with its beauty.”


The sumptuous gastronomic table adorned dishes prepared and served according to epidemiological measures by the Makarun team. Talented Chef Ivan Planinić chose smoked mackerel with Vis capers and golden apple, amberjack filet prepared in three ways and three colors, and macaroni according to a Žrnovo recipe with spinach and a shrimp and scampi sauce.



Special dishes made of fish and fish products were prepared by renowned Chef Michel Tokić from Podravka, whose knowledge and skills of cooking with EVA products are recommended especially for those who have neglected the consumption of fish and want to compensate for Vitamin D.


Responsible and healthy catering was presented by Michel Tokić, including Mediterranean sandwiches, Mediterranean tuna tortilla cups with melon, tuna and avocado cups, Eva salad of mackerel and fresh vegetables, and mini tuna burgers. 


The Croatian Chamber of Commerce has been advocating for years to encourage the representation of fish on menus. For ten years now, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce has implemented the project “Croatian Fish – Eat its Worth.” The project aims to increase consumption of local fish products and build and raise the culture of fish consumption in Croatia, all by raising consumer awareness of the importance and investment in sustainable fisheries, the high nutritional and health value of food originating from locally regulated catches or farming, and the importance of the product they consume from a food safety system of well-known, high standards. This project is of special importance, which was emphasized by President Jozo Tomaš, and confirmed by the cooperation with Gastroadvent in Split.


The fruits of the Adriatic Sea were presented by Gastro Ribarnica Brač, a company that makes seafood more accessible through regular campaigns, and with its professionalism guarantees safety and originality. In ten of its own fish markets in the region, in addition to fresh fish, they offer a rich selection of frozen, dried, marinated, and salty delicatessen products. 


The event also highlighted ecology and competitiveness in gastronomy and tourism as the core of future projects of the Split School of Tourism and Hospitality. Under the leadership of director Ivo Bilić, the Split School of Tourism and Hospitality Management was appointed a Regional Center of Competitiveness in the summer of 2018.

An important role of the RCC is the connection to the local community, and is manifested through two goals:

1) Projects with kindergartens and primary schools in creating habits among young people and encouraging reflection on tourism, and on the other hand as promoting our professions,

2) Participation in local (regional) events, creating habits among the population about the benefits and importance of caring for the guest-tourist. 

This year’s Gastroadvent also features Mediterranean Food – MD.net, a project funded by the European program Interreg Mediterranean, worth 3.7 million EUR, and implemented by the Public Institution RERA S.D. for the coordination and development of Split-Dalmatia County. The project involves 14 project partners from 9 countries in the Mediterranean, which is aimed at popularizing the Mediterranean diet. The main goal of the project is to strengthen research in this area in accordance with the UNESCO Convention on Mediterranean Nutrition, to raise the quality of food and life in 9 project partner countries, as well as promote the Mediterranean diet, which is recognized as the gold standard of proper nutrition, as well as its far-reaching beneficial effects on health.

These innovative food products designed by students were presented at Gastroadvent 2020, which you can see below:


The student’s mentor and workshop organizer, Michael Freer, said a few words:

“The project is working with five schools to create an innovative product. We are the end of it now, the products are ready, and each school had to use a famous Mediterranean-based ingredient from the island or their location. The idea is that with the 5,000 EUR they received through MD.net, they’re able to invest in something that they can then sell. The idea is that the profit goes back into reinvesting in the student cooperative, and also hopefully to fund their dance at the end of the year, if they can have one.”

Given the current circumstances, all food items were packed for guests to take home!


Split Gastroadvent is held every Advent Sunday at a new location! 

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.



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