Zeljko Brocilovic - Carlos
What connects Olivier Grouard, the French embassy chef in Vienna, the world famous porcelain designer Stefanie Hering, the popular Italian winemaker Silvio Jermann and his Austrian colleague Walter Polz, Karen Evenden, the author of the increasingly famous book in the USA “A Taste of Croatia”, Massimo Riccioli from Rome and many others, with Zagreb and Croatia?
Or put it this way – have you ever wondered what numerous eno-gastro events are for, where a multitude of people gather (if the organizer is lucky) to try and taste “something good” in the milieu? In most cases it is about marketing and trying to place a product on the market. However, there are “different kinds” of gatherings. Ever since 1997 I have been an associate of the already renowned “Merano International Wine Festival” in Croatia, and for years the idea has grown, along with the wish, to organize an event in Croatia with the task of promoting quality with the premise that all participants have the same conditions regardless of their size as manufacturers or the amount of money they have. I have found the partners for such a concept (or they have found me) in two very energetic and positive women – Ingrid Badurini and Andrea Maceljski, and so, after the first event “Zagreb Wine Gourmet Festival” in March last year, I can say that I could not have imagined a better combination.
Communicate with Wine
The organization of a festival is unbelievable as well as hard work, which besides immense effort and knowledge, includes large personal dedication by the winemakers themselves, along with the not always interesting tasting of their products. After China, India, Russia and Japan opened as markets, our country is becoming less interesting to manufacturers who are on the top of wine business in their country and it is very hard to persuade them to set out and participate in the event which will probably bring them no benefits. Our basic goal is communication: the communication of wine, the communication of winemakers who produce that wine and the communication between the audiences, who evaluate, taste and discuss it. This festival is intended for you who drink a glass of this divine nectar every day, a festival which is not meant to spread the culture of eating and drinking, because you already have that, but is meant to spread new knowledge and compare eno-gastro trends, upon which our (tourist, but also wine producing) future in this area depends.
This year’s “Zagreb Wine Gourmet Festival” will be held on the 27th and 28th February in the wonderful setting of the Zagreb Museum of Arts and Crafts,
uniting the largest number of foreign winemakers so far, who will personally exhibit in Croatia, with the best achievements of the Croatian winemaking scene, with chosen specialties which often adorn our tables. The “Gourmet” part of the story will begin with an exclusive dinner at the Hotel Esplanade on the 26th February, where the selected chefs will show their art, and Olivier Grouard, French embassy’s chef in Vienna, will be one of the stars. All dishes will be served in the porcelain of one of the world’s top producers – Hering, and the designer Stefanie Hering will tell us something about that porcelain herself.
The award for the “wine of the festival” will be given at the gala dinner, as well as the award for dedication in the strange and dynamic world of wine. When it comes to the wine, we are especially proud to present a large number of foreign exhibitors, among which there will be the popular Silvio Jermann from Italy and Walter Polz, one of the leading winemakers from Styria. We will not fall short on the Croatian elite, and among the already established names, you will be able to taste something by young winemakers who are just starting out, but have already shown some excellent quality. The very rich program during the festival will enable visitors to gain new knowledge and be introduced to new trends, both in winemaking and the gastronomical scene.
A Handful of Imposing Names
A special surprise for Croatian gastro-audiences will be the arrival of Karen Evenden, an American from California who is in love with Croatian gastronomy. She is the author of the book “A Taste of Croatia” which contains her favorite Croatian recipes. Alongside that, she grows many herbs from Dalmatia (rosemary, lavender, sage, basil and so on) in Los Angeles, where she also holds her cooking lessons. We have also heard that she is preparing to come to Croatia with her crew for a longer period of time for new gastronomical experiences. Besides her, about ten other local and foreign chefs will perform in a cooking show in front of a live audience, amongst whom will be Massimo Riccioli from Rome (one Michelin star), as well as a special guest from the renowned Norwegian Gastro Institute.
This year the “Zagreb Wine Gourmet Festival” has once again obtained the support of the famous Institute of Masters of Wine, whose vice-chairman, Lynne Sherriff, will hold a lecture on the subject of wine marketing, and in special workshops Donatela Verbanac Ph.D will be talking about nutrition.
We do not want to reveal everything just yet, because that would be too much, but this year there will be several thematic tastings, and to arouse your curiosity we will just mention that the organizers will take the guests through the world of the wine Plavac from 2003, there will be a discussion about the wines of Morena Coronica, and as a special event there will be the tasting of aged Chardonnays.
There will be plenty of interesting and special events, and we believe that anyone who visits the “Zagreb Wine Gourmet Festival” will find their favorite and their own favorite wine among the 150 exhibitors and more than 400 exhibited wines.