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Best Croatian restaurants and chefs awarded by Gault&Millau Guide

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Pelegrini (Photo credit: Pelegrini)

On Tuesday, April 18, the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb played host to the prestigious Gault&Millau guide awards ceremony, where the best chefs and restaurants in Croatia were recognized.

The event saw the presentation of awards across various categories, celebrating the outstanding achievements of culinary professionals in the country.

The top honor of Chef of the Year was awarded to Marijo Curić from the renowned Dubrovnik restaurant 360. Saša Began from Foša in Zadar and Aleksandar Grubić from Badi in Lovrečica near Umag were awarded the Great Chef of Tomorrow trophy.

Awards were also presented to Tomica Đukić and Damir Josić from the restaurant of the Josić Winery in Zmajevac for the Chef of Traditional Cuisine category, while Nenad Kukurin from the Kukuriku restaurant in Kastav won the Trophy for the Chef of Modern Traditional Cuisine.

Katarina Vrenc from Zagreb’s Sopal and Mate Sučić, owner and chef of Konoba Campanelo in Mirlović Zagora, were recognized as the Young Talents of the Year. Zdravko Kalabrić, the only Croatian chef member of the World Master Chefs association, was awarded the Trophy for Merit in Gastronomy, and Zagreb’s Noel restaurant received the Trophy for the Best Service. The Trophy for the Best POP Restaurant was presented to the Samobor confectionery U prolazu.

The best restaurants in Croatia were also acknowledged, with 360 from Dubrovnik, Cap Aureo, and Monte from Rovinj, Zagreb’s NAV, Noel, and Zinfandel’s, restaurant Nebo in Rijeka, and Pelegrini from Šibenik all receiving top honors.

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel (9)

Zinfandel’s (Photo credit: arhiva hotela Esplanade Zagreb)

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Noel (Photo credit: Noel Zagreb)

The event also saw the presentation of scholarships from the Raise the Bar program, which has awarded valuable scholarships to 14 young chefs and pastry chefs, enabling them to train at world-renowned universities and gain experience in respected restaurants. Stella Pasek, Željka Bleuš, Nikola Tomašić, and Tilen Utenkar were the recipients of the scholarships presented during the ceremony.

Restaurant 360 in Dubrovnik (Photo credit: Restaurant 360)

In addition to the awards ceremony, the sixth edition of the bilingual international gastronomic guide was also launched, featuring 270 restaurants and 100 popular establishments such as bistros, street food restaurants, diners, and pastry shops. The guide also includes a selection of 100 wines from all over Croatia and, for the first time, a selection of Croatian olive oils.

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Monte (Photo credit: Monte)

Overall, the event was a fantastic celebration of Croatia’s thriving culinary scene and the talented individuals driving it forward.

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