On 18 September, a special masterclass workshop organized by the world's leading gastronomy guide, the Michelin Guide, in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board, took place at the restaurant Dubravkin put in Zagreb. The workshop was held by the Italian chef Riccardo Gaspari, with the assistance of Tibor Valinčić, the chef of Dubravkin put. It was the first such Michelin workshop outside France and the first of its kind in the whole world.
Gaspari's restaurant SanBrite in Cortina d'Ampezzo holds a Michelin star and the Green Star which is one of the Michelin guide's recent recognitions, awarded to restaurants that are best in class when it comes to sustainable practices. Gaspari started working on the family farm in his teenage years, helping his parents take care of cows, goats, and pigs. His journey continued in the kitchen, as he says, for the sake of his wife. His culinary efforts became more serious when he first visited Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana, where he later apprenticed. The SanBrite restaurant has since become a model of sustainability, ecology, and regenerative approach, both on the farm and in the kitchen, emphasizing the importance of using local foods, producing many of them and working closely with small local producers.
Chef Gaspari opened the workshop addressing the group of attendees, all of them chefs from Zagreb restaurants and holders of some of the Michelin awards. Following the refreshment, the guests went for a stroll across the Upper Town to the nearby Dolac Market, the largest green market in Zagreb, where they spent the morning shopping for groceries and talking with local producers. Upon returning to the restaurant, chef Riccardo held the masterclass in the kitchen, demonstrating the techniques of preparing some of his famous leek dishes. Preparation of leek cream, fermented leeks, yuzu pickled leeks, roasted leek stock and leek and grapeseed oil are some of the techniques used to process this delicious yet undervalued food.
After the masterclass, chefs Valinčić and Gaspari prepared a five-course lunch for the guests, which started with warm homemade bread and whipped butter made by chef Gaspari.
The first appetizer was Adriatic Sea bream ceviche with mullet bottarga prepared by Tibor Valinčić. This was followed by Gaspari's hot appetizer of charred cauliflower and smoked trout in trout stock. Valinčić prepared the main course from Black Angus beef bred in Croatia and matured for 5 weeks, with butternut squash fondant and sauce and smoked beef tongue. Pastry chef Robert Bašić was in charge of the sweet finale with his homage to the cocoa tree, consisting of cocoa fruit juice oabika, Valrhona chocolate, mango and banana.
Top wines from the regions near Zagreb served with lunch were Tihomir Kota's sparkling wine from Zagorje, fresh sauvignon blanc from the Štampar family from Međimurje, Bolfan's tingo from Zagorje and Korak family's syrah from Plešivica.