Former Croatian Masterchef Contestant Launches "Glowing Foods"

By 10 January 2016

A novel approach to cuisine coming soon to Zagreb, but will the reviews be as glowing as the food? 

While socializing with friends and organizing parties, when she usually played a role of "head chef'", a former Croatian Masterchef contestant Martina Županić realized the food for such occasions should not only be delicious, but also interesting. Therefore, she has created "glowing foods", made with healthy ingredients and glowing in darkness. All those interested in such food will soon be able to taste it in her new restaurant which will be opened soon in the Zagreb city centre, reports Tportal on January 10, 2016.

"The idea came by accident. I used to organize parties and in parallel work on my recipes. At one point, my fiancé and I thought it would be interesting if there were food which would glow in darkness while you were eating it. We started doing research and discovered substances which glow when combined with certain ingredients and ultraviolet light", says Županić who is developing her project under the name Lumabites.

While working on the project and advertising campaign, she found out that people are not so interested in recipes for such dishes, but would like to taste it somewhere. So they decided to change their plans and open a restaurant. "In the meantime, I have applied to appear in a culinary show, purely for the sake of personal credibility. I also started a search for investors and collecting funds to finance the project, and this phase is still ongoing", says Martina.

The "glowing food" effect is a result of combination of healthy ingredients, cooking techniques and UV light. She did not want to discuss the details since it is something which is still completely new in Croatia. "Lumabites presentations are usually done in darkness and only at the end, when it is time to serve the food, we turn on UV light so that the food starts glowing. Before that, I was doing focus group testing with friends and family, and the reaction was always the same: people could not believe that something can be so tasty, and also so spectacular", says Županić.

From the beginning of the project she was fully aware of the fact that they will have to provide their own funds in order to succeed, because no one was ready to invest in something with uncertain outcome. "So far, we have invested 30,000 dollars. We have used a lot of ingredients during testing and market research in order to find out what would be interesting for people. I was thinking about applying for the EU funds, but at the moment I cannot deal with that", she explains.

"When I started with my business idea, I found out about Plavi Ured – an entrepreneurial centre of the City of Zagreb. I went there for education which was extremely helpful to me. Many people start their businesses based on products which are not sufficiently developed in all their segments. While choosing my ingredients and suppliers, I wanted to find reliable partners who could guarantee the same level of quality, availability and the Croatian origin of ingredients", concludes Županić.

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