November 2, 2023 – Noel, the only Zagreb Michelin star restaurant, a spot appreciated for its exceptional gastronomy and a unique experience for all the senses, proudly presented its new head chef Mario Mandaric. Mario is a famous face in the world of gastronomy, and with a stellar reputation and undeniable talent, he brings a fresh perspective and innovation to Noel.
As Journal writes, Mario has established himself as one of the best young chefs in the industry, earning praise for his creative approach, dedication to sourcing the highest quality ingredients and unwavering passion for the art of fine dining. Mario will thus lead Noel’s Michelin star kitchen with a mission to inspire the team to create new culinary experiences.
“This is a new chapter in my cooperation with Noel, considering that I was already the head chef at Noel Buje. I am really happy about the new challenge in my career and the experience of working in the only Zagreb Michelin star restaurant. I believe that with our joint efforts we will continue this great story, in which I will try to fit my distinctive style of cooking with Noel’s signature,” said Mario.
Similar reactions from Noel: “We are excited for this new chapter in Noel! We’ll continue at the same pace, the whole team is together, from the service to the bar headed by the new chef Mario Mandarić. We believe he will continue to provide our guests with the ultimate gastronomic journey that combines the finest foods with innovation, though with a fresh perspective and new techniques and ways of thinking.”
Mario’s Road to Success
At the age of 31, Mario Mandarić from Split can boast of an impressive biography. He has cooked in the world’s best restaurants. From Thailand, where he owned a restaurant where many celebrities from the world of Hollywood came, to England, where he worked at The Fat Duck – the best restaurant in the world with three Michelin stars. In addition, Mario Mandarić was included in the list of the thirty most influential people in Europe under the age of 30, due to his exceptional humanitarian work – with his wife Matea, Mario builds wells in Africa.
As he shared with TCN during the project, “building a well does not just mean bringing water to those people, for whom it has been a pure luxury so far. It means changing their lives. There are no fathers in the villages we visited because they died while trying to pull the liquid that means life to them, from the swamp, in buckets. That makes this action even more significant. Fills you with happiness. It is amazing to see their explosive happiness as they play under the drops of water coming from the well.”
Ordinary Wedding for the Ordinary Guy
No story about Mario would be complete without his wedding story. It goes something like this:
After three months in Africa, the couple returned to Zagreb and Paul met Mario alone for a drink.
“Man, I think she is the one. 3 months, 24/7 together in rural Africa and Zanzibar – she is really great,” he said.
“As in you are thinking about getting married?”
“Yeah, I am going to propose. I know that getting married in Vegas with Elvis singing is a cliche, but it is not in Croatia. What do you think?”
“How about this,” Paul suggested without thinking. “If you set the date for April 8, I will be happy to be your best man. I need to get from New York to the West Coast, so can pop in for a night to Vegas, and then pick up a car and take you to San Francisco.”
With a few extra steps for the best man, the happy couple did indeed get married in Vegas, as witnessed by Elvis.