One of the most popular restaurants on the Dalmatian coast, Coccolo in Trogir, is the first restaurant in Croatia to serve up gold steak.
Owned by Miro Kukanjac, Coccolo has been a popular restaurant for locals and tourists for over 25 years and now they have added a special offer to their menu – top quality steak encrusted in a 24 karat gold leaf.
As Coccolo chef Roko Puče explained to us, the special edible 24 karat gold leaf is sourced from India and Italy and is certified to standards.
The gold has no odour and the taste is slightly metallic. It is completely safe and does not cause any allergies and is said to even help normalise metabolism and improve the work of the liver and stomach.
“People say things like it can be obtained through Amazon for $10, this is nonsense, you have to have a certificate and it must be code 175. You can get all sorts, but there is no guarantee that it is safe and edible and that you will not have digestive problem,” Puče told 24sata.
For a 250 g premium-quality Argentine steak encrusted in a 24 karat gold leaf your can expect to pay 1500 kuna. For a 250 g wagyu ribeye encrusted in 24 karat gold leaf the price is 3500 kuna and the most expensive is the 1200 g Tomahawk steak encrusted in 24 karat gold leaf which is 7500 kuna.
The idea for the gold encrusted steaks came last summer after the restaurant was visited by VIP guests and was requested by the London agency looking after them.
“The guests arrived on a yacht. The agency asked us if it was possible to make meals with gold leafs. I was a little shocked but managed through my connections to get hold of it. There were 12 guests and eight of their bodyguards. We had to sign a contract that for the next six months we must not say who they were. But even now I don’t want to reveal the names because it is not professional and I want to continue to respect their privacy. I can only say that he is one of the richest people in the world,” Puče told 24sata.
Chef Puče says that whilst the restaurant now offers this exclusive item, it also caters for everyone with an extensive menu for all budgets, including salads, ćevapi, gourmet hamburger, risotto and pizza.
“People from all over the world visit us because of our premium steaks. We have something for everyone. Who wants to try the gold steaks can try it if they like,” he says.
Chef Puče says working with the gold leaf is very demanding and requires his full concentration.
“The hood must be turned off, all doors must be closed to prevent drafts, everyone must leave the kitchen except, of course, the person preparing the golden portion. These are such thin and delicate flakes that you literally can’t breathe. It is done with tweezers and a brush made exclusively of camel or squirrel hair,” explained Puče, adding that gold encrusted food is nothing unusual around the world.
Coccolo, thanks to its owner, was one of the first to go to Petrinja after the devastating earthquake in December and start cooking for the people who were effected.
“I get chills when I think about it. We came the day after the earthquake, at 5:30 a.m. we were there and started cooking, after which others started following our example. Last Christmas Eve, we distributed 3,000 servings of bakalr at a price of $ 15 just to help the association caring for children with Down syndrome not go out of business. We had as many as 26 delivery people who delivered all those portions of food, if we had signed up, we could have entered the Guinness Book of Records,” Puče concluded.