Masterclasses signed by top chefs and free style cooking shows by big names in ISTRAVIRGIN

It is a unique, interactive gastronomic experience in which the main role will be played by well-known and respected faces of the Croatian gastronomic scene.

November 23, 2022

After a successful harvest, Vodnjan smells strongly of young olive oil these days, so it's time for many olive growers, oil producers, gastronomic experts and lovers of liquid "green gold" to traditionally gather there - the strongest symbol of Istria and the Vodnjan region.

16. Days of young olive oil, the largest and most prestigious olive festival in Croatia and the region, are returning this year from November 25 to 27 in a completely new guise, with a rich program, in a different location and under a new name - ISTRAVIRGIN!

A unique, interactive, gastronomic experience is being prepared in the former imposing city school, i.e. the former Astra factory, in which well-known and respected faces of the Croatian gastronomic scene will play the main role.

On this occasion, we highlight from the rich program masterclasses of our top chefs Svetlana Celija, Hrvoja Kroflin, Robert Perić, Jeffrey Vella i Hrvoje Zirojević who will prepare their top dishes with carefully selected young olive oils, and Head Robert Perić in part of the program "Evolution of Istrian gastronomy" will host two big names - Marija Čepeka i David Skoka.

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Masterclass workshops are closed and intended for smaller groups so that participants can fully enjoy this gastronomic experience and interaction with chefs. You can reserve your place online by registering on the official website website at a promotional price of HRK 200,00, and below is an enticing announcement of the top masterclasses by the chefs themselves:

HRVOJE ZIROJEVIĆ, Restaurant Dvor, Split

Hrvoje Zirojević from 2021 Head is in the Dvor restaurant in Split. This culinary virtuoso has knocked many celebrities off their feet, including Beyonce and Jay Z, Prince Harry, Bono Vox, and most recently, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain. He bases his culinary philosophy precisely on local seafood whose original flavors form the backbone of his dishes.

Masterclass of this chef will be held on Saturday, 26.11.2022. at 14:00 p.m.  

"My will masterclass be in the sign of fish and of course young olive oil. To begin with, I take the participants on a gastronomic trip to South America, specifically Peru and Ecuador, where it originates from.ceviche" an appetizer of white fish marinated in citrus, which is originally spicy thanks to the chili peppers, and we will emphasize the refreshing acidity of the citrus and the sweetness of the onion. I will use Kvarner shrimp, white fish and St. Jakov clams, and I will add a few unexpected ones to the dish detail Then we move on to the classic - cannelloni of tuna with goose liver ganache in which olives, pumpkin and cherries will play an important role in the playful combination of flavors. And finally, one of my favorite rustic dishes - cold moray eels prepared in the form of jelly with moray eel skin chips, which will be a true example of the complete utilization of food. Olive oil is the foundation of my kitchen. And while for traditional dishes and old recipes I use oils from the Dalmatian islands, for raw dishes with sweet and sour flavors I turn to the bitterness of phenomenal Istrian oils." announced Zirojević.

JEFFREY VELLA, Restaurant Cap Aureo, Rovinj

Jeffrey Vella is synonymous with top cuisine, Head that pushes the boundaries. As Head in the Cap Aureo restaurant, he has already shown his great talent and ability to prepare incredible combinations countless times. A native of Malta, this world-renowned chef has lived and worked all over the world, and is the winner of many awards.

Masterclass of this chef will be held on Saturday, 26.11.2022. at 16:00 p.m., and Jeffrey Vella announces:  

"I am looking forward to coming to Vodnjan and masterclass where olives and olive oil will be the stars in combination with local ingredients. We will start with pressed Buža and potatoes and egg cream, continue with roasted sea bass, olive and seaweed crust and chicory, and then I will prepare aged lamb in olive oil and leek and tapenade Wellington. For dessert, we will make candies, marmalade and sherbet from olive oil, and the attendees will also receive gifts mixed with olive oil. 
I will use olive oil from local varieties because of the earthy aromas, and as for the bitterness, it will be quite spicy oils precisely because of their freshness, which will characterize all the dishes I will prepare in Vodnjan. My personal favorite among the olive oils are those of the Buža variety, which reflects all the peculiarities of the Vodnjan climate and which goes particularly well with the vegetable-based dishes that I prepare in the Cap Aureo restaurant.".

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SVETLANA CELIJA, Restaurant Vodnjanka, Vodnjan and Zagreb

He has been at the helm of one of the most successful Istrian restaurants for almost four decades. Vodnjanka is directed and produced chef cartridges Svjetlane Celije, who devotedly nurtures the values ​​of traditional Istrian cuisine, has gained an exceptional reputation on the Croatian gastronomic scene, as well as recognition among numerous foreign guests. In addition to being happy to return to Vodnjan and the homely atmosphere of Vodnjanka, several years ago many guests of Zagreb's Vodnjanka discovered the exciting gastronomic heritage of Vodnjan and Istria thanks to the Celija family.

Masterclass boss Celje is scheduled for Saturday, November 26.11.2022, 18. at 00:XNUMX p.m. 

"My will masterclass to bring the participants back to the gastronomic past of Vodnjan, they will be authentic plates made with ingredients from the Vodnjan climate and gilded with olive oil, which was used in every meal in Vodnjan. In this part of the year, the emphasis is, of course, on the young, so I will also use varieties such as Buža, Bjelica and Leccino. I will start the masterclass with a heavy lunch that the people of Vodnjan used to take to the fields and which only appears to be composed of simple ingredients whose top quality represents a real gastronomic pleasure. We will continue with the meat dish that was prepared as a festive main course. For now, I won't reveal all the details, but it will definitely contain a special Vodnjan puree, which with its composition shows how skillful and imaginative the Vodnjan cooks were, always raising even the simplest recipes to a new level, and Vodnjan mishanca, a real delicacy in which there are 6 to 8 different plants from Vodnjan fields. And finally, we will prepare an autochthonous dessert that was made exclusively in Vodnjan. 
We are proud of the fact that the first evaluation of olive oils was held precisely in our Vodnjanka at the end of the 90s of the last century, and that today we bring and promote the touch of Istria and the superb taste of Vodnjan olive oils in the very center of Zagreb, adding to them our own oil with which we every year he donates 500 olives from the family olive grove", said Svjetlana Celija.

HRVOJE KROFLIN, Restaurant Mano2, Zagreb

He started cooking at the age of 16, and at 19 he started running a renowned restaurant in Zagreb. The first is Croatian Head who was nominated for the award The Best Chef, and finds its inspiration in traditional recipes. Hrvoje Kroflin applies his knowledge to seasonal ingredients, but also to local traditional dishes to which he adds his flair and special charm.

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Masterclass of this chef will be held on Sunday, 27.11.2022. at 14:00 p.m. 

"At masterclass in Vodnjan we will make an appetizer and main course of meat, and of course I will use young olive oil from the Vodnjan Buža, Crnice, Istrian Bjelica, Rožinjola and Moražola varieties. As for the olive oil in the traditional recipes that I rely on in my modern interpretation, it is not present in all dishes, but it is very important and when I use it, I rely on top quality Istrian olive oils.", he explained Head Croflin.  

ROBERT PERIĆ, LF catering, Pula

Kao Head adheres to the principles that conquer the palate of everyone to whom the dish is served. First of all, these are the simplicity of cooking, the elegance of creating dishes and the seasonal selection of ingredients. Other than that, it's superb maestro chocolatier, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge with everyone who is ready to learn something new, so he has been a successful lecturer for many years.

Masterclass of this chef will be held on Sunday, 27.11.2022. at 16:00 p.m. 

"On mine masterclass we will immerse ourselves in the sweet world of chocolate combined with golden drops of premium young olive oil. I will make chocolate pralines in which I will combine white, dark and milk chocolate with olive oils from the Crnica, Istrian Bjelica, Vodnjan Buža, Rožinjola and Moražola varieties. Then we will make a dessert of porcini mushrooms and cottage cheese with olive oil foam, in which we will use dark chocolate.
The secret to a successful combination of chocolate and olive oil is to find those olive oils that are best combined with a certain chocolate. The praline filling consists exclusively of olive oil and chocolate without the addition of cream or gelatin that could affect the taste, so it is extremely important to create a "winning" combination. I started making desserts with olive oil in the mid-nineties of the last century, and from then until today they have found their loyal audience that appreciates and enjoys them. Experience shows that not every year is the same for either olive oil or cocoa, which greatly affects the final taste, so this fact gives a note of excitement and unexpectedness to the process of creating desserts." he announced Head Perić.

EVOLUTION OF ISTRIAN GASTRONOMY - Robert Perić hosts Marij Čepek and David Skoka 

With participation chef Perić at this year's Istravirgin, it is important to note that in the part of the program called "Evolution of Istrian gastronomy" they will host two big names who will in a kind offree style cooking show" show your skills.

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On Saturday, March 26.11, 14. from 00:20 to 00:XNUMX chef Perić hosts showman and a virtuoso of the Croatian gastronomic scene Marija Čepeka, while the fisherman's son and a great promoter of local Istrian products David Skoko perform on Sunday, 27.11. from 14:00 to 20:00 next when preparing food zero waste principle and refining them with premium young olive oils.

Info, photo: TZ of the city of Vodnjan/ Istravirga promo/ Good food

November 23, 2022