May 20, 2019

Croatian Culinary Federation Activity Report 2018/2019



Activity report 2018/2019


Croatian Culinary Federation celebrated it’s 15th birthday

On Sunday, 17th of June 2018 Croatian Culinary Federation celebrated 15 years of its activity. The event was a part of Eco Picnic at the park Bundek in Zagreb. Chefs and pastry chefs from all parts of Croatia joined us in this event and we have prepared over 5000 free portions of Croatian dishes.


Bocuse d’Or

- June 11th and 12th  2018.,

Up to 4,000 passionate live fans and thousands of others who watched live streams, Varaždin's chef Zlatko Novak and his assistant Marin Pozder had the honor and responsibility to represent Croatia. Zlatko Novak is an award-winning Croatian Chef, winner of Croatian National Championship in Cooking and the double winner of CRO TOP 10 competition. He has also achieved remarkable results at international competitions such as the World Culinary Cup in Luxembourg, the Culinary Olympics in Germany and the Global Chefs Challenge, and he won the invitation to Bocuse d'Or. Croatian representatives prepared the dishes in the competition after practicing for months and they gave their best but did not qualify for the finals in Lyon. Croatia took the ninth place but we can be proud of the Croatian representatives because the competition is a huge culinary achievement of a country and Croatia will remain the member of the Bocuse d'Or family. With Bulgaria taking the last place, Croatia is the only representative of the Balkan Peninsula.



World Chefs Day

On the World Chefs Day, October 20, members of the Croatian Culinary Federation visited local kindergartens and schools, where they were greeted by students. Chefs shared their knowledge and gave them a cooking lesson where they have all together prepared some healthy dishes. Chefs primary goal was to educate the children why is important to eat healthily and how to prepare some simple healthy meals. The children and students enjoyed this special day.



World culinary cup

The World Culinary Cup is the largest culinary competition in the world that has been held in the EXPOGAST fair in Luxembourg for over 40 years, along with the Culinary Olympics. From 24th to 29th November 2018, Luxembourg was again the meeting place for over 3000 chefs and pastry chefs from 76 different countries.


Croatia was represented in Luxembourg by the National Culinary Representation consisting of six members of the National Team, five members of the Varaždin County Regional Team, ten chefs and one a pastry chef in individual categories and four members of the Catering Team with accompanying staff. The National Team of Croatian Culinary Representation was presented in the following composition:

Tomislav Karamarko Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera, Zadar

Rozalija Neralić Restaurant SC "Cvjetno Naselje", Zagreb

Šime Vučetić Hotel The Westin Zagreb

Damnjan Draganić Nidum Casual Luxury Hotel, Germany

Nikolina Lončar Hotel Zlatan, Koprivnica

Josip Vrsaljko Zadar Travel, Terra Travel, Zadar


The National Team participated in two binding categories. In the first category, they had to prepare a three-course menu for 110 people in six hours. Another category was cold table featuring four different finger food dishes for six people, a festive buffet for eight people, three different hot appetizers, a three-course vegetarian menu, a five-course menu, a pastry sculpture, four different desserts, and one sweet platter. In the cold table category, the National team gained a bronze medal while in the restaurant menu won a diploma.


Individual representatives in the category "culinary art" presented a five-course menu and four different finger foods. In this category, Croatia had several representatives:


Klaudio Mrkić Falkensteiner Hotel Adriana Borik d.o.o., Zadar, bronze

Marija Bošnjak Vinkovci Vocational School, diploma

Erich Glavica, Koprivnica, diploma

Ana-Maria Stanković Croatian Culinary Federation, Bronze

Ante Ojdanić Association of Chefs of Split-Dalmatia County, Bronze

Marko Martinac Restaurant 4 Kantuna, Zadar, bronze

Lucija Vrček Hotel Turist, Varaždin, diploma


The only Croatian pastry chef, Sandra Jadek from Orahovica, participated in the category of "Pastry Art", featuring 4 different desserts and sweet platter and for her work was also awarded a bronze medal.


Sandra Jadek, "Sandra's Cakes", bronze


The remaining three Croatian competitors participated in carving categories. Ivan Đukić was best rated and he was awarded with a silver medal for his work. He also won silver medal in the category of "live carving", went to the big finals and became one of the 13 best world recorders. Unfortunately in the final he did not manage to reach the winning throne.


Ivan Đukić Association of chefs and pastry chefs of Osijek-Baranja Region and Restaurant Lipov hlad, Osijek, - silver

Dražen Šafar Association of Chefs of the City of Orahovice - diploma

Marijan Bošnjak Neuropsychiatric Hospital Dr. Ivan Barbot, Popovača - diploma


Regional team of Varaždin County was presented in the following composition:

Marin Sambolek Hotel Turist, Varaždin

Marin Pozder Restoran Bedem, Varaždin

Vanja Orban Restaurant Miramare, Island of Sv. Nikola Valamar

Ivan Tomas Restaurant Fontana Crnković, Varaždin

Karlo Štorga Restaurant Bedem, Varaždin

Amos Novak - Assistant Hotel Turist, Varaždin


The Regional Team had a similar exposure task as the National in the Cold table category but reduced with several elements. They had to exhibit four different finger food for six people, one festive buffet for eight people, three different hot appetizers, a five-course menu, four different desserts, and one sweet platter. In addition to them, their work was supervised and directed by the President of the Varaždin County Association of Chefs Bojan Bohorč. For their performance, they won a bronze medal.



Croatian Culinary Academy

Realizing its fundamental goals, among which the professional training of chefs is one of the most important, the Croatian Chef Federation has established a culinary academy. The aim is to educate the leading people in the kitchen, study and elaborate the Croatian gastronomic heritage, its tourism valorization, the development of Croatian gastronomic thought and practice, and the follow-up of the world's gastronomic trends in Croatian culinary arts.


Within the hotel Trakošćan there is also the culinary cabinet of the Croatian Culinary Federation, which has been teaching professional chefs through thematic workshops for many years. Through the workshops of the Croatian Culinary Academy in 13 years of activity, over 2000 satisfied chefs and pastry chefs were educated. Due to the practical work in which different techniques and skills in preparation of dishes are mastered, seminars and workshops are performed in small groups up to 10 participants per group.


In January 2019, there were a total of 5 workshops within the Croatian Culinary Academy: 

1) Modern pastry - hotel desserts with accompanying decorations; lecturer: Mirjana Špoljar

2) Vegetarian and Gluten-free Meals; lecturer: Mirjana Habek

3) Creative restaurant main dishes with accompanying decorations; lecturer: Marija Kuzminski

4) Fruit and Vegetable Art; lecturer: Ivan Đukić

5) Continental cuisine according to world trends; lecturer: Berislav Lacković





-       22th February, in Croatian Hotel & Gastroteh fair, Zagreb.

For the third time in a row, Zlatko Novak managed to defend a prestigious title and won in a strong chef competition. From 10AM to 7PM ten Croatian chefs fought for the title of the best, preparing dishes with predefined ingredients in the qualification, and „mystery box“ concept in the finals. After all the contestants had prepared their dishes in just 60 minutes, expert judges, Miro Dolovčak, Marija Kuzminski and Gostimir Dragić, commented and judged their dishes and the top three competitors entered the finals.


Two competitors from Varaždin placed in the final, Zlatko Novak from the restaurant „Bedem“ and Ivan Tomas from the restaurant „Fontana Crnkovic“ which were joined by Ana-Marija Stankovic, the double winner of the Croatian Culinary Cup. The finalists prepared the main dish of Sea bream and dessert. CRO TOP 10 is a final event on five-day Hotel & Gastroteh Fair in Zagreb. During those days visitors tried over 2,000 portions of traditional Croatian dishes presented by the Chef Associations from all across the Croatian country. Along with delicious food, visitors were able to get recipes and valuable cooking tips from professionals.


The pizzaiolo association and the second national championship

-       March 11th  2019., O'Hara Pizzeria, Zagreb

The competition was preceded by three regional qualifying competitions for pizzaias in Split, Osijek and Prelog. The top three competitors of regional qualifications were awarded by the "ticket" for the finals and the grand finale in Zagreb. Competitors were joined by last year's winner and holder of the title of the first national champion, Romano Seferović.


Competitors had task to prepare two pizzas in 15 minutes, of which Margherita was required while the another pizza was chosen by the contestant. Mirko Perić from the Split's Basta gourmet bar won the competition with his remarkable pizza made of asparagus cream, roasted pumpkin, dear leg, self-styled edible plants, home-made cheese with rosemary, mozzarella and decorations, baskets of grana padano with a dehydrated pumpkin. For the final grade, the quality of the dough, the degree of roasting and the skill and knowledge in the preparation of pizzas were crucial through the work of Mirko Perić.




Croatian Culinary Cup is an overall competition that consists of several smaller culinary competitions. Every competition has a theme and they are held throughout Croatia during whole year. Besides the overall recognition of chefs the goal of this competition is presentation and enrichment of distinctive Croatian culinary offerings. In the year 2018 we organized 4 competitions in different Croatian cities and 5 competitions in 2019 till today.



4 competitions of Croatian Culinary Cup in 2018.


2nd round - "Zlatna Solinka"

-       7th February 2018., Solin

The participants prepared three sequences for the festive dinner held the next day at the “Andrea” restaurant. The task was to prepare a festive cold plate of trout, prosciutto, chickpeas and artichokes, main courses of lamb's leg, rosemary and seasonal vegetables, and desserts of clementines, carrots, almonds and curd. Ivan Tomas from the restaurant Fontana Crnkovic from Varaždin won the overall prize. Marin Pozder, from the Varaždin restaurant, Bedem won the second place, while Dario Špehar from Plitvice won the third place.


3rd round - "Bilogorsko kolo"

-  16th  and 17th March 2018, Bjelovar


The participants of the competition in this round had the task of preparing festive cold plates of chicken breasts and mushrooms, a warm main dish with lamb meat, wild garlic and honey, and pastry art demonstrated in the preparation of deserts from aronia, corn flour and cocoa for 12 persons.


The winner was taken by the young Varaždinska chef Marin Pozder from the restaurant Bedem, the second place was Dari Šupar from the Plitvice Lakes hotel, while the third place was taken by another resident Ivan Tomas from the restaurant Fontana Crnkovic.



4th round - "Zlatna jabuka"

- 19th  to 21st  April 2018., Vinkovci


The participants had the task of preparing a menu of three courses or a festive cold plate of honey and cheese, main dish of deer and roe deer meat, plums, cranberrys and vegetable set, hot main course with pork meat, fresh cheese and slivovitza with asparagus and bacon as well as dessert with apple, poppy, raisins and crisp pastry.


The most successful in preparing cold dishes was Marin Pozder from the Varaždin restaurant Bedem, the best main dish was Dari Špajar from Plitvice Lakes Hotel, while the best dessert was prepared by Sandra Jadek. In the overall ranking, Marin Pozder was the best and he received the award for the best individual.



5th round - "Kuharski kup Slavka Večerića"

- September 29th 2018., Pregrada


The task was to prepare three sequences that were exhibited and shared to the visitors of the event on the following day. The task was to prepare a festive cold platter of turkey, bam hock, corn and horseradish, main course of pork chop, mushroom and potatoes, and desserts of apple, squash, chestnuts and grapes. Marin Pozder from the restaurant "Bedem" from Varaždin, who prepared the best appetizer and main course, was the winner in the overall standings, while Dario Špehar from Plitvice Hotel Plitvice Lakes was better in dessert. The third place was given to Ivan Tomas from the restaurant Fontana Crnkovic from Varaždin.



Croatian Culinary Cup competitions in 2019.


1st round - “Zlatna solinka”

-       7tH - 9Th February, 2019., Solin

The task was to prepare a festive cold platter of trout, fresh cheese and vegetable, main courses of lamb, rosemary, garlic and seasonal vegetables, and desserts of orange, almond and chocolate. The winner in the overall ranking was Tina Đerek with assistant Helen Režić, representing the newly opened Cvita hotel in Split. In second place were Dario Špehar and Igor Jularić from the Plitvice Hotel and the Lička House Restaurant from Plitvice Lakes, while Nikola Domislović and Dinko Tomašić from the Varaždin Park boutique hotel won the third place.


2st round - „Plitvička rapsodija“

-       1st - 3th March 2019., Plitvička Jezera

The task was to prepare a festive cold platter of pork leg, a base (Lički cheese) and root vegetables, main course buffaloes (autochthonous domestic cattle) and desserts of honey, plum and fresh cheese. Dario Špehar and his assistant, Igor Jularić, won in the overall performance, presenting Hotel Jezero and Lička kuća. The second place went to Nikola Domislović and Dink Tomašić from Varaždins Park Boutique Hotel, while third place won Marin Sambolek and Dario Rodeš from Hotel Turist.


3st round - „Zlatna Jabuka“

      - 11th - 13th April 2019., Vinkovci

The task was to prepare a festive cold platter of pork tenderloin, bacon of black pig and vegetables, a warm main course of pork, slivovitza with mushrooms and cereals and dessert of apple, honey, walnut and dough. Dario Špehar and assistant Igor Jularić, who represented Hotel Plitvice and Hotel Jezero from Plitvice Lakes, won in the overall ranking. Second place was won by Marin Sambolek and Dario Rodeš from Varaždin Hotel Turist, while Nikola Domislović and Dink Tomašić from Park Boutique Hotel in Varaždin were third.


The Croatian Culinary Cup will continue after the summer in cities Pregrada and Bjelovar.










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