22. 4. 2023
Weekend Food Festival Brings the Best Chefs to Vodnjan
Last weekend in Rovinj, the three-day festival showcased the latest culinary trends and provided opportunities for attendees to mingle with first-class chefs from all around the world. The culinary industry is rapidly evolving, and this festival is a great place to see what the future of gastronomy holds. We participated in panels and workshops related to olive oil, and it was great to see that we are on the right track, following the development of this industry and that all our partners are world-class.
The highlight of the event was the press trip held on the last day of the festival. Thirty top chefs and food journalists, such as Dabiz Munoz, David Constable, Joao Oliveira, Kaja Sajović, Frank Heylen, Malgorzata Minta, and our favourite Hrvoje and Nastasja Petrić, took an excursion to the south of Istria. We began by exploring the Brijuni National Park, followed by an educational trip and lunch at the Verige location. The ancient ruins served as a stunning backdrop for numerous seafood delicacies paired with our extra virgin olive oils. We all enjoyed oysters, mussels, langoustines, carpaccio of premium white fish, sardines, and wild asparagus frittata paired perfectly with Matošević wines, and for dessert, we treated ourselves with Latus cheeses.
Afterwards, we returned to our olive oil mill in Vodnjan. There we had an amazing welcome drink – cocktails based on our Ex Albis extra virgin olive oil, Old pilots gin, Damijanić Teran wine, and tonic. Sandi then gave a brief presentation of our story and work methods, showed the olive mill and answered to all the questions from our guests. Next step was the tasting of four different olive oil blends. Sandi gave a short lesson on olive oil tasting, he talked about flavours and pairing oil with food, and recognizing key elements of extra virgin olive oil, such as smell and aroma. As a gift, we gave to each guest a special blend of EVOO that was created just for them with labels bearing their names.
It was great to see how world-class chefs understand the importance of olive oil in creating dishes, how they appreciate the role of enhancing flavours, and all the other benefits that olive oil brings to gastronomy. After the tasting, we headed to Vodnjan and a fair showcasing local products where oil producers, winemakers, coffee roasters, and ham producers offered tastings of their products. Vodnjan has a lot to offer, and with a population of 3.750, we have many small but high-quality producers whose products are of exceptional quality.
The last stop of the day was a visit to the Eco-museum Istrian de Dignan where the dinner was held. Chef Robert Perić prepared an amazing traditional menu for our guests and Lf Catering set up tables on three floors, so as not to disturb the statics of this old Vodnjan house. Eco-musem is is full of original objects from Vodnjan – from plates, spoons to kitchen setting and clothing. It was a truly authentic environment where everything breathes history. Chef Perić presented traditional Vodnjan dishes in several courses, from wild onion frittata, manestra with wild herbs, fuži pasta made from our flour with a pork and wild asparagus to stewed lamb.
Each dish was paired with local wines and olive oils. Dessert came in several courses, ranging from cheesecake, amaretto cookie, pralines with olive oil to a selection of cheeses, where it was hard to decide whether the wine or homemade fruit liqueurs were the better match. Finally, everyone drank one „kacijola“ of traditional „Ruda“ – grappa with local herbs “for disinfection”, and the traditional „Supa“ – hot beverage made with olive oil, sugar, red wine, and grilled bread that was cooked on the old fireplace and served in a traditional bukaleta.
We would like to thank our dear friends Hrvoje Petrić and his wife Nastasja for being such big promotors of local producers and cuisine, our partners who participated in organizing the entire event, the city of Vodnjan, and the chefs who gave us the opportunity to showcase our cuisine.
We hope to see you all again next year!