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The gorgeous Emerald Hall of Zagreb Esplanade Hotel has been the site of a magnificent ceremony. The newest edition of presitigous Gault Millau guide has been presented to numerous attendees.  Over one hundred top-class chefs have arrived, united in their craft and pleased to see this year’s laureates.

The newest edition comes in the form of 400-page booklet which includes articles in English and Croatian languages. No less than 150 prestitigous restaurants are presented, alongside 70 POP dining spots and 113 wine kinds from all parts of the county. For the first time, some of the leading Hotels of Croatia have been included as well. In addition to hard copy of the guide, people will also have access to special Gault Millau digital application.

Inspectors of Gault&Millau were visiting restaurants of various price ranges, since the guide isn’t solely about expensive places. The quality of food and service is what really counts, whether the dining place serves lobsters with caviar or home-made strukla delicacies. Another important value is the so-called terroir, which describes how the restaurant presents local culinary culture.

As usual, the ceremony included proclamations of best chefs. The grand prize went to Hrvoje Zirojevic, renowned owner of Laganini Restaurant in Palmizana and one of the most excellent dining places in Croatia. Known for his belief that every plate is actually a painter’s canvas, Zirojevec became widely known for his white inkfish risotto and black ice cream.

But Laganini is not the only prestigious place for fine dine in Croatia. Awards for best restaurants also went to Monte, Pelegrini and Restaurant 360. As fo pastry, the prime recognition went to Biljana Milina. Best Traditional Cuisine Chef is Vesna Miletic of Zagreb-based Tac, her award percieved as a confirmed acknowledgement of service excellence.

The award for original innovation called Chefs of Tommorow went to Matija Breges of Boskinac and Fabrizio Veznaver of Pergola restaurant. Both are active members of JRE community in Croatia. Best young chef is Tino Sinozic who works in Opatija’s much loved Navis. Split-based wine bar Paradox won the award for its category.

The event featured meals prepared by expert team of Ana Grgic. It greatly contributed to pleasant evening and made a great introduction to what will certainly be a fantastic year in Croatian restaurants.

Photo: Mario Kucera / CROPIX

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