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As a proud sponsor, we were quite excited to finally attend Chef’s Stage – region’s leading gastronomy specialists event. The event took place over the course of two day (March 18th – 19th) in Šibenik’s Convention Centre at Amadria Resort (former Solaris). More information on this year’s event can be found here: http://chefsstage.com/ 

The event is the most important gathering of regional (and above!) chefs in this part of the World and one of the most important guests of this year’s event was Elena Arzak

Amadria Sibenik resort Convention Center

We were not only a sponsor but also a partner taking responsibility for part of the organisation and even moderating one panel on “What Croatia Needs (to be visible as a gourmet destination” with two of the most esteemed German journalists and a vice-minister of Croatian Tourism ministry. The panel discussions were one of the highlights of the event. All themes are something Croatian public does not discuss enough!

Panel discussion at Chef's Stage 2019

But the best action was taking place outside the conference room with workshops and a small exhibition space offering only the hand picked tools of the trade as well as ingredients. There were also some local producers.

Local producers at Chef's Stage
Interesting serving ideas at Chef's Stage
…and some curiosities!

The end of the first day was marked by several prestigious dinners served all over Sibenik but the highlight was the one in Sibenik’s Theater as it was never done before! The theater floor was “raised” above the seating. This made into a VERY interesting settings for dinner!

Dinner at Sibenik's Theatre for Chef's Stage 2019
Special setup at the Sibenik’s Theater

The dinner was cooked by 4 chefs and the first as Angelos Antos of Athen’s 2 Michellin stars Spondi’s Kitchen. This was chef’s first time in Croatia.

Chef Antos at dinner at Sibenik's Theatre for Chef's Stage 2019

We had a very memorable dinner with superb selection of dishes prepared by some of the best chefs.

Bibich and Stefan inner at Sibenik's Theatre for Chef's Stage 2019
Chef Rudi Stefan of Pelegrini and Mr Alen Bibich saying hello as organizers
Davor Skoko
Conger by chef Skoko of Pula’s Batelina
Chef Stefan's hake wraped in prosciutto
Hake in prosciutto by chef Rudi Stefan

All dishes were superbly paired with Bibich wines. Keeping it regional was crucial idea behind the event.

Day 2 of Chef’s Stage 2019

Second day, we decided to focus on one of the workshops as those were masterfully led by some of the best chefs. We went for something that we don’t gat eto taste that often and it is the trout. Just outside Knin, there is a trout farm with some of the best trouts in the region. We stopped there on our way back from climbing Croatia’s highest peak back in 2016: https://secretcroatia.blog/2016/10/02/the-highest-peak-of-croatia-sinjal/

The class was taking place at Krka Monastery that can be not only reached by car but also by a boat. This is one of the most unique settings for this event.

Chefs preparing trout in three different ways were again Mr. Antos of Athens but also young chefs Ivan Erak and Vanja Puškar of New Balkan Cuisine

Trout masterclass at Krka Monastery
Trout masterclass at Krka Monastery

Dishes presented were all quite superb showing off tender quality of trout and how it can be explored far beyond the regular owen. Particulary impressive was young chef Puškar with his trout dish that can be prepared even on a picnic!

In general, Chef Stage took a massive step forward from its maiden year both in terms of quality and organisation. It is simply a must visit event for all professionals in gastronomy but also in local travel.

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