One of the things I love most about TCN is that this ‘job’ gives me access to all areas of Croatian society and the characters one finds therein.
And there are some truly crazy characters…
I first met celebrated Varazdinske Toplice restaurateur Nikola Bozic over a dinner of very fine wine and very fine tripe in a Zagreb basement as a guest of Taste Atlas founder Matija Babic about 7 years ago. By chance, the other guest that night was Davorin Stetner, who plays a key part in this story years later.
Nikola invited me for dinner at his excellent meat restaurant, Djurina Hiza, back in 2016 – and a very fine dinner ensued – but it was only when I returned to Hiza with the legend that is Croatian gourmet blogger Ribafish that Nikola and I started to really click.
Things moved quickly after that, despite the global pandemic of 2020. As Croatia locked down and restaurants were forced to lay off staff, Nikola Bozic was the only restaurateur in the county to expand his business. Having understood that the customer could not come to the restaurant, he decided to bring the restaurant to them by setting up a national delivery service of his steaks, burgers and other selected products.
It was a huge hit.
I am not sure how, but on the day when Europe opened its internal borders on June 15, 2021, I found myself in the passenger seat of his car, which was filled with his fine gourmet products, and on the road to Brussels via Munich and Luxemburg. The European distribution of quality Croatian products had begun.
During that trip, I learned to expect the unexpected from Nikola, and so when he called and asked if I wanted a fun day out transporting four Wagyu Holstein cows from Medjimurje to Zumberak Nature Park, I knew that there would be at least three great stories involved, as well as a fabulous day out.
And so it proved. Read more in Medjimurje to Zumberak: Transporting Croatia’s 1st Free-Range Wagyu Cows.
And there we were, reunited with our 2015 tripe dining partner, Davorin Stetner, whose project to create an eco-village in Tihocaj is truly phenomenal.
Time passed, and the four cows became seven, with the addition of three little ones and three more on the way.
And the time has now come for the first-ever tasting of the first free-range Wagyu Holstein beef in Croatia, a very limited and exclusive dinner for a maximum of 20 people, to be held next month at Djurina Hiza in Varazdinske Toplice.
The details… (video intro by Nikola in Croatia, before the haircut)
Planned date – Friday, February 18.
Number of places – 20.
Number of courses, with wine – 4 (burger, steak, low and slow).
Price per person – contact Nikola on [email protected] or 098/9562435
If you can’t make the dinner, but would like to try the first free-range Wagyu Holstein beef in Croatia, Nikola has prepared an offer for both steaks and burgers, so contact him directly.
1 kilo of steak.
Pack of 5 burgers (180 gram each).
To be continued…
Read more in Nikola Bozic: Wagyu Beef, Burger Champion, Varazdin Street Food Artist.