Kvarner newsletter / no 21

Opatija
Chefs competing for the title of the best

Croatian Culinary Days, Croatia's biggest and most important culinary event, will take place in Opatija in mid-November to showcase all the diversity of Croatian gastronomy. This will be a superb chance for visitors to see the work of some of the finest Croatian chefs whose skills and recipes have gained for Croatia the reputation of a very attractive gastronomic destination.

Croatian Culinary Days, an event aimed at educating chefs and improving Croatian culinary arts, will take place from the 15th to the 21st of November in Opatija's Hotel Ambasador. It is organised by the Croatian Culinary Federation and sponsored by the President of the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of Tourism. The Croatian Culinary Days programme will include three competitions – the Croatian Chefs Competition, the Croatian Confectioners Competition, and the Camellia Cup student competition. In addition to the competitions, the event will also include workshops organised by the Academy of the Croatian Culinary Federation, and numerous lectures, round-table discussions, presentations, samplings and much more.
The competitions will be divided into seven categories – cold starters, hot main dishes, 4-course menus, hospital menus, simple warm dishes, dishes inspired by the Croatian culinary heritage, and table decorations made of fruits and vegetables. The title of the Croatian champion is not easy to obtain: the winner will be the competitor who proves to be the best in three categories and prepares a total of nine different meals.
This year's Croatian Culinary Days will for the first time feature the Croatian Confectioners Competition for the title of the best creator of table decoration made of chocolate, paste and sugar.
Important part of the event is dedicated to the students of the local gastronomy school, or more precisely, to future generations of chefs and confectioners. It is interesting to mention that the students will come to the competition without having any information about the dishes they will have to make, which will stimulate their creativity in putting together menus. With the help of their mentors, the students have to choose from the list of food offered and suggest a cold starter, main course and a dessert. After that, the role of the mentors is finished and they are not allowed to enter the kitchen – because the students have to prepare the meals on their own.