Renowned international chocolatier Claude Krajner arrived in Zagreb and presented his famous chocolate dessert mousse made of bitter chocolate with Mediterranean orange in front of a large audience at Zinfandel’s restaurant at Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb on Wednesday.
At the masterclass, the charming Frenchman, who has Croatian roots, showed many Croatian confectioners, chefs and media representatives the procedure, new trends and techniques in the preparation of chocolate desserts.
The masterclass and gathering with world-class chocolate maker was jointly organised by the French Embassy in Zagreb, the French Institute, the Taste the Mediterranean festival and the host Esplanade Hotel, all on the occasion of the global gourmet initiative Good France.
This global gourmet celebration was included in UNESCO list of intangible heritage in 2015, thanks to talented chefs who are involved in the project all over the world, including Croatia. For the sixth year in a row, Zagreb’s Zinfandel’s restaurant has been organising a gala dinner in the French way for its guests, thus joining thousands of guests around the world who are celebrating French culinary art on the same day.
The concept of the Goût de / Good France dinner has been well received, as evidenced by the significant increase in the number of restaurants joining the project from year to year. The initiative was inspired by Auguste Escoffier, who first organised “les Dîners d’Epicure” in 1912.
Goût de / Good France took on this idea to connect restaurants around the world, and the founder is considered to be the famous French chef Alain Ducasse and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. This year, Good France is celebrated for four days, between October 14 and 22, in several restaurants throughout Croatia.
This year’s story focuses on the province of Val de Loire, known for its art of comfortable and good living. Special emphasis is placed on sustainable gastronomy, and Zinfandel’s restaurant, which recently received the prestigious green Michelin star for a sustainable concept, fits perfectly into this story.
French music, a welcome with top-quality Moët & Chandon champagne, five courses of authentic delicacies signed by chef Ana Grgić Tomić, a selection of French wines, a divine chocolate dessert made by Claude Krajner and gifts from L’Occitane en Provence are part of this year’s gala celebration which will take place on Thursday, October 21 at Zinfandel’s.
Claude Krajner is a special guest at this year’s gala ceremony at Zinfandel’s, where she and chef Ana Grgić Tomić will prepare dinner in the French way.
The Frenchman of Croatian decent was named one of the 50 best chocolate makers in France. This recognition, as well as the title of Maître Artisan Chocolatier, he received in 2015, when he became a member of the prestigious culinary academy Académie Nationale de Cuisine.
His craft was honed in the best restaurants in Paris, but also in the Canary Islands where he was a pastry chef. He is a regular lecturer at the prestigious culinary school Villa des Chefs in Aix-en-Provence and is the author of personalised chocolate products for prestigious companies such as Kartell, Swarovski and Palais des Thés.
It should be noted that the masterclass was led and moderated by Ms. Ingrid Badurina Danielsson, director of the Taste the Mediterranean festival, who pointed out: “Chocolatier Claude Krajner was a guest at the recent Taste the Mediterranean festival in Split, along with other French chefs from Gourméditerranée in Marseille. Our festival has been cooperating with them for a long time, because our common goal is to present and promote the Mediterranean diet. after the inclusion of the Croatian Mediterranean diet on the same UNESCO World Heritage List.”
On Thursday, October 21, 2021, Ana and Claude will prepare dinner in the French way, and some of the French delicacies were also tasted by the guests at the masterclass on Wednesday.
The dinner begins with a welcome with top-quality Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial champagne and attractive French mini snacks in the Esplanade Lounge bar, while Ana prepares pralines with dark chocolate and goose liver, marinated pears with traditional aromatic blue cheese and roasted walnuts and frangipane.
A five-course gala dinner follows: Tarte Tatin with shallots and brie cheese with rosemary pesto, an unavoidable classic of French cuisine: snails in Pernod sauce and butter with herbs, served with buckwheat with garlic cream, French bouillabaisse soup with saffron and mussels and breast pearl sous vide with truffles, goose liver and celery cream.
These are all authentic flavours that will take guests on a real gastronomic trip to France. The guest of the evening, Claude Krajner, will create an irresistible mousse of bitter chocolate with Mediterranean orange for this occasion, which will perfectly round off the experience.
“I look forward to continuing this global initiative and collaborating with Chef Claude Krajner at our gala dinner at Zinfandel’s where all seats are filled in almost one day. I am sure that guests will enjoy his chocolate creations,” said Ana and added:” The goals of the Good France dinner include connecting with local producers, ethical catering and cooking without creating waste, and learning about flavours. We have been working on all this for years, and Michelin recognised that and recently awarded Zinfandel’s restaurant the first green star in Croatia.”
The price of dinner is 680 kuna per person, and includes welcome champagne with small snacks, and five courses of dishes with coffee / tea and petit fours. A carefully selected selection of French wines, champagne, liqueurs and cognacs is charged according to consumption. The selection of French music is signed by DJ Jurki, and gifts for the guests are provided by the French cosmetics company L’Occitane en Provence.
The restaurant is full for the gala dinner and reservations are no longer accepted.