Croatian Chef Turning Usual into the Unusual

By 26 July 2016

Nothing goes to waste with chef Hrvoje Zirojevic.

Hrvoje Zirojevic is a Croatian chef very well known among foreigners. It isn't unusual for sheikhs and billionaires to get into their private jets just to enjoy a meal prepared by his skillful hands. But instead of a luxurious resort, Hrvoje is spending this summer in much more rustic conditions in Pakleni otoci, preparing delicacies for locals and tourists alike. And since he is working in a location where ingredients were always scarce, he decided that the main theme of his entire menu, apart from fresh ingredients from the Adriatic, would be that absolutely nothing is to be thrown away or wasted.


What exactly does this mean? Well, according to Hrvoje, every part of the plant, fish or any other seafood can be used and eaten. So, instead of throwing away scampi peelings, he slowly roasts them and grinds them into a fine powder which he calls “The dust of roasted scampi”. Even lima bean skins are saved in Hrvoje's kitchen. Once he cleans the beans, leftovers are dehydrated and turned into flour which is later used in his recipes.


Fish also get the full treatment here. Skins that are left over after filleting are roasted and turned into delicious crisps, fish liver is poached and smoked and if you're a fan of tripe then you should definitely try Hrvoje's fish tripe recipes with spring peas or lima beans, recipes that even The Fat Duck would be proud to have on their menu.


Last but not least, this is one of the very few places where you can enjoy sea stone soup. Hollow stones covered with algae and tiny crabs taken from the depth of 20 to 30 metres are cooked with white wine, olive oil, onions, garlic, parsley and celery to create an authentic fisherman's soup that tourists absolutely love. This only goes to show that everything we find in the depths of the Adriatic can be turned into a delicacy.