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World Cup: What Croatia’s chef has on the menu for the players 

World Cup: What Croatia’s chef has on the menu for the players


Tomica Đukić, the head chef of the Croatian national team who travels for the past seven years, has revealed for portal Dobra hrana what the players are eating in Qatar.

Today was a special day, the match was very early, at 1:00 p.m., so we did some sort of combined breakfast and lunch. We served them a meal at 9 o’clock, which was rich in carbohydrates so that the national team players would have a lot of energy for the match – Đukić revealed to Dobra hrana after the Morocco game.

On the day of the match against Morocco, Croatia’s players ate a generous breakfast, which included meat and pasta. 

Croatian players have generally a Mediterranean diet. Đukić reveals that everything must be prepared with olive oil and without many spices with only salt and pepper used.

– Their daily menu is based on two types of meat, there is always red and white meat, so we serve them veal, young beef, chicken and turkey. In addition, they must have fish available. It’s always white fish, such as sea bream or sea bass, and quite often salmon is on the menu. We pay a lot of attention to vegetables. They must have boiled or grilled vegetables every day. Also, soups are indispensable. Athletes must consume foods rich in fiber, so we use a lot of cauliflower and broccoli. We always cook something to eat with a spoon for them to refresh themselves, but we never prepare vetches, which can cause digestive problems –  Đukić told Dobra hrana.

The Croatian chef, who celebrated his birthday in the camp, says that maximum attention is paid to safety with all foods used needing have a declaration, the exact date of production and when it can be used by. 

– We never buy groceries in bulk because you never know what you’re going to get. Everything must be as fresh as possible. We go so far when it comes to the freshness of the food that in the dining room, actually the hall where the food is eaten, we also set up improvised stations to finish individual dishes. That’s how we finish their risotto, and sometimes pasta – Đukić says.

The Croatia team is staying at the Hilton Hotel Doha and Đukić, who had prior experience working in Osijek, Germany and Denmark, says there is not much room for desserts on the menu. 

– There are always some pies, strudels or sponge cakes and lots of fruit and nuts on the menu. You must always keep in mind that you must not acidify their body too much, nor fatten it up. Sometimes we have a cheat day, purely to satisfy a desire for more specific things, so we know how to prepare burgers or fries, but we never deep fry, but bake with hot air – he concludes.

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