Monday, 13 May 2019

Hvar Celebrates St Prosper with Dobar Kus, Food and Wine Event

At the Hvar Arsenal, as part of the 15th edition of the Dobar Kus event, selected restaurants, taverns and cafés from Hvar, Palmižana and Velo Grablje presented dishes which Croatia’s sunniest island wants to show to the world as a successful combination of traditional and contemporary cuisine, reports Dalmacija Danas on May 13, 2019.

About twenty exhibitors participated with their dishes in the event held as part of the celebrations of St. Prosper – the co-patron saint of the town of Hvar. The plates full of sea delicacies, workers food, fish dishes and innovative recipes attracted hundreds of local and international visitors. The skills of the chefs were evaluated by international culinary judges from the Chefs of the Mediterranean and European Regions (ŠKMER) – Željko Neven Bremec, Marija Lulić and Nikša Ivičević. Each bite was accompanied by some of the finest wines brought to the Arsenal by leading Hvar winemakers and guests from Slavonia and Istria.

“Dobar Kus is a wine-and-dine event that celebrates St. Prosper, as well as the traditional and new Hvar gastronomy and wines. It was also an opportunity for the first time to show what the three teams from our Hvar High School can do together with their mentors to promote the culinary profession and knowledge. Here on the island, we have a long gastronomic tradition that needs to be further developed, because it is one of our postcards with which we present ourselves to the world, especially through the experience of our visitors,” said Katica Vučetić, president of the Hvar Association of Crafts, whose Hospitality Section launched the event in 2005.

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Hvar mayor Ricardo Novak opened the event, and the tastings could start, accompanied by the music of Trio Gušt. The Bacchusa team from Palmižana welcome the guests at the Arsenal gate with a large pot, in which about 50 portions of shrimps and shellfish were being prepared. The Dva Ribara restaurant offered a roll with spinach from their family fields and young cheese. Mizzarola presented the proper workers’ spoon dish; pasta with broad beans and asparagus with veal, while Mediterraneo brought homemade lamb and beans. Popular dishes were also presented by the Bonaca restaurant, with potato cuttlefish and broad beans and a cake made of carob and wild orange jam, while La Bocca prepared baby beef with peas. Appetit presented the seafood risotto and tiramisu. Grande Luna offered gnocchi in mushroom sauce and roast beef, and pasta with shrimps and asparagus. Štajun served a top-of-the-line carpaccio of zucchini and truffles, roast beef with white truffle cream, and fresh macaroni with black truffles. The Palača Paladini team, with its 15th-century palace and a garden of bitter orange trees used to produce jams and liqueurs, has been writing some of the best pages of the new gastronomic history of Hvar for the last over 50 years. For this occasion, they prepared linguine with prawns and vongola clams and marbled cherry cake.

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The newly opened Odos restaurant (Greek Street) offers the contemporary Mediterranean gastronomy with international influences, so they presented at the Dobar Kus the tuna tartar on a bed of vegetables and rice paper, shrimps, carrots and leek in tempura and fresh Odos fettuccine with shrimps and grated truffles.

The Zbondini Tavern from the ethno-eco-village Velo Grablje served a plate with top quality homemade cheese and prosciutto, the famous Grablje pašticada with homemade gnocchi and the "Grobajski Koloč", which showed that the island also offers dishes like they were prepared by Hvar housewives a hundred and more years ago. Dalmatina, a 30-year-old family restaurant, made black gnocchi with Istrian truffles, while Macondo offered shark gregada. From Palmižana, the Meneghello restaurant brought black risotto and carob cake.

“The judges and myself were delighted with the dishes served, the successful combination of tradition and the new. We have tasted brunches, new ideas, great cakes and desserts closely related to the ingredients of this region. Congratulations to the participants, they have prepared fine dishes. What we thought they could do differently – we told them. Also, it is great that at one place we could combine great food and top-quality wines,” said Željko Neven Bremec, president of ŠKMER.

Wineries taking part in the event were Tomić, Plenković, Duboković, Plančić, Vujnović, Marijan, Carić, Cuj, Benevutti, Radovan, Kutjevo, Krauthaker.

More Hvar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Translated from Dalmacija Danas.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Fajferica Gastro Show Held in Drenovci

After the Black Pig Restaurant in Čepin, this animal species now also has its festival! On May 10, Drenovci hosted the first Fajferica Gastro Show. Fajferica is the black Slavonian pig, the autochthonous pig created by crossbreeding the sows of the Swallow Belly Mangulica breed and boars of the Berkshire breed. Then the best sows were crossbred with boars of the Poland China pig. The breed was created in the second half of the 19th century at the Orlovnjak wasteland near Tenja, not far from Osijek, and was named after the owner of the estate, Count Dragutin Karlo Leopold Pfeifer.


The village of Drenovci is situated on the extreme south-eastern edge of Slavonia, also known as Cvelferija. Some would say that Cvelferija is located on the southwestern corner of Srijem and they would also not be mistaken. The boundary between Slavonia in the west and Srijem in the east is fluid, not strictly defined, and besides, the former Srijem County with its seat in Vukovar was an integral part of the old Slavonian kingdom, a subregion of Slavonia, so it is not wrong to say that Drenovci, as well as the whole of Cvelferija, is located in both Srijem and Slavonia. The name of this micro-region originates from the times of the Military Border (Latin: Confinium, German: the Militärgrenze) when the Sava River was a natural border that separated the Habsburg Monarchy from the Ottoman Empire.

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At its peak, the Military Border stretched 1,850 kilometres in length, from the Adriatic Sea to the province of Erdelj in present-day Romania, consisting of seventeen regiments, of which three regiments (the seventh, eighth and ninth) represented the Slavonian military frontier. The regiments were divided into companies, and the area of today’s Cvelferija comprised the 12th company of the Brod regiment. In addition to Drenovci, Cvelferija includes the villages of Vrbanja, Soljani, Strošinci, Đurići, Račinovci, Gunja, Rajevo Selo and Posavski Podgajci. The last time this area was in the media focus was during catastrophic floods five years ago. Fortunately, many positive things are happening in this area, including the Fajferica Gastro Show.

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The event took place at the Agricultural Entrepreneurial Incubator in Drenovci. It started at about 10 am with a small-scale fair of autochthonous products. Specialities made from black Slavonian pigs were paired with red wines of Iločki Podrumi and the dark beers of the Valens craft brewery from Vinkovci.

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Chef Tomislav Špiček prepared treats for all the visitors. There is no need to spend too much time introducing him since he is well-known from various culinary programmes broadcast on national television stations.

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Dark chocolate with pieces of Kulen was presented by Margareta Vučak, owner of the Veseli Vagon chocolate shop, whose motto is “fresh & furious”. The festival also included numerous lectures, with interesting topics such as “Why do we love pork?” and “Are fats being unfairly excluded from the menu?”

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Fajferica Gastro Show also included a sales section, with black Slavonian pigs being on offer. I saw personally that a dozen of them were sold to the Karlovac area, indicating there is interest for the Fajferica pigs even beyond the borders of Slavonia and Baranja.

Cured meat products made from black Slavonian pigs, delicacies prepared by celebrated chefs, crafts beers and brilliant Srijem wines, unusual combinations of Kulen and chocolate, all this is the reason why the first Fajeferica Gastro Show fully met the expectations. I hope that the event will become a traditional one and that the next year it will make an additional step forward.

More Slavonia news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

MaFest, International Comics Festival, Returning to Makarska

Many comic book fans from around the world have marked in their calendars the period from 23 to 26 May, when Makarska will host MaFest, by far the largest and most popular international festival of comics in Croatia and the wider region. This will be the 12th edition of the annual festival. During its existence, MaFest has brought more than 12,000 visitors to Makarska, and a similar level of interest is expected this year as well, reports on May 7, 2019.

Dario Antunović, director of MaFest, says that the first part of the festival, dedicated to primary school children from the Makarska area, has already been held. “The festival has been held in two parts for years. We have decided to split workshops for elementary schools in the Makarska area from events aimed at a wider audience,” explains Antunović, adding that the 12th edition of the MaFest will include two exhibitions of original drawings, numerous forums and comic signing events, as well as a comic book exchange and concerts. “The list of guests who have confirmed their visit to Makarska currently has 65 names on it, coming from 11 countries from around the world,” adds Antunović.


As many as 15 special guests are expected, including: Ivana Armanini (Croatia), Alessio Avallone (Italy), Vanessa Belardo (Italy), Krešimir Biuk (Croatia), Fernando Blanco (Spain), Serge Carrere (France), Matteo Cremona (Italy), Shawn Crystal (USA), Fernando Dagnino (Spain), Maurizio Di Vincenzo (Italy), Michele Masiero (Italy), Francis Portela (Spain), Zoran Smiljanić (Slovenia), Marco Soldi (Italy) and Frederic Volante (Italy).


“The tradition started in 2006, with posters in which some of the most famous comic books heroes appeared in Makarska. We continue this year, and 14 authors from the special guest list have already created them,” says Antunović, adding that the 2019 MaFest will be remembered for the third part of the exhibition of original drawings by great Andrija Maurović from 1937. Many were convinced that the drawings had been permanently lost because nothing was known about them for decades.

“We once again point out that this is a precious national cultural heritage, and that the public has until now never been able to see this third contingent. This year, we will also organize an exhibition of originals by Igor Kordej, one of the greatest Croatian comic authors, from the Colt & Pepper album. This will be its world premiere because the album will be released in France only in July,” adds Antunović.

The theme of this year's prize competition for elementary school students is "Extra-Terrestrials in Makarska", and the main prize will be a laptop. The festival will also present the new logo of Makarska – Town of Comics, designed by best Croatian designer Melina Mikulić.

The music part of the Festival will host two great Croatian bands, "Rezerve" and "Ischariotzcky".

All festival events are free for all visitors.

The MaFest partners are the Town of Makarska, the Ministry of Culture, the Makarska Tourist Board, the Split-Dalmatia Tourist Board, Split-Dalmatia County, the Pivac meat industry, Miramare Aparthotel, Biokovo Hotel, Apfel, Julius Meinl, Premise, and many other friends and smaller sponsors.

Translated from (reported by Slavica Vuković).

More Makarska news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 29 April 2019

VukovArt-Luka Street Art Festival to be Held in June

ZAGREB, April 29, 2019 - This year's VukovArt-Luka street festival will be held from June 1 to 15 under the auspices of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, and during the event five murals will be painted on an area of 700 square metres.

The event will also include, for the first time, a semi-marathon, with 600 competitors having already registered to participate in the run.

A press conference held earlier this week heard that this year's festival theme is "Give me 5!", representing the five murals to be painted on apartment blocks.

Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Krešimir Herceg said that they wanted the festival to move away from war topics.

The organiser of the first Vukovar semi-marathon, Tomislav Marinović, said that the 21-kilometre run will go along a route including locations with the new murals, while citizens would have the opportunity to run a 5-kilometre route.

Vukovar Deputy Mayor Marijan Pavliček announced that the city was supporting the project with 450,000 kuna.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Festival of Tolerance to Take Place in Zagreb on 7-13 April

ZAGREB, March 25, 2019 - The 13th edition of the Festival of Tolerance will take place in Zagreb's Europa and Kinoteka cinemas from 7 to 13 April, featuring over 60 award-winning films and a diverse entertainment and education programme.

The focus of this year's festival is on the importance of accepting and respecting diversity and the fundamental principles of equality and justice, and especially on the burning global issue of refugees.

The supporting programme includes two exhibitions. An exhibition of photographs entitled "They", inspired by the Aleppo Studio project "Picturing (new) European citizens", will be staged on the streets of Zagreb on 1 April. On show will be pop-up installations with portraits of four refugees from Syria, Iraq and Iran currently living in Croatia.

The exhibition "They fill no space: Reviving memories of Polish Jews" will be put on display outside the Museum of Contemporary Art from 5 to 17 April. It features reproductions of murals created by urban activists in towns where Jews had lived in considerable numbers before the Second World War to remind their fellow citizens who their neighbours had once been. The exhibition will be staged in collaboration with POLIN, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

More news about festivals in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Preparations Start for 54th Floraart Flower Exhibition

The preparations for the 54th edition of Floraart, the largest and the oldest flower exhibition in this part of Europe, have started at the Zrinjevac plant nursery the Kajzerica neighbourhood in Zagreb. Large greenhouses are already the home to plants which will spend the next two months there. Gardeners and workers taking care of the seedlings, landscape architects and everyone else involved in the project are creating a fairy-tale experience which is bringing in an ever-increasing number of tourists and flower fans to Zagreb. In order for the floral arrangement to be ready, the team from the Zrinjevac parks and gardening municipal company is already working hard, reports Večernji List on March 14, 2019.

“The preparations for this year's Floraart began as early as September when our landscape architects designed the exhibition area. Landscape architects decide which plants they want, of which colour and how much of them. Their job is to create a form in which the plants will create the most impressive possible effect with their colours and scents, which is a kind of art,” explains Vesna Čuljat from Zrinjevac, which organises the international exhibition. “We take care to select those plants which are in full bloom in early May when the exhibition takes place. We started planting in February, and we are continuing to plant them these days as well. At Floraart, we will enjoy over 200,000 flowers.

A team of 15 gardeners plants about 12,000 seedlings each day.

This year's Floraart will be held at the Bundek lake from 13 to 19 May. It will bring together Croatian and European flower artists, and prizes will be presented in 26 categories, including those for the exhibitors of the planting material and the most beautiful home garden.

“In floristry, there are trends, just like in fashion, and we try to keep track of them. Today, ecological concerns and ecological awareness are more important than ever. We want to bring more nature into the city. There is a tendency for creating natural gardens in our environment, with different kinds of flowers which attract insects and bees that create biodiversity, which is extremely important,” explained Čuljat.

Numerous accompanying events will make this year’s exhibition special and make Zagreb one of the European centres when it comes to flower exhibitions.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Snježana Črnjević).

More news about the Floraart exhibition can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Garbage Confirmed for 14th INmusic Festival in Zagreb

ZAGREB, January 11, 2019 - The American rock band Garbage, fronted by Shirley Manson, will perform at the INmusic festival to be held in Zagreb on June 24-26. This is one of only two of their concerts in this part of Europe announced so far.

The band will be joining The Cure, Foals, LP, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls and Peter, Bjorn and John at Croatia’s biggest rock festival – INmusic.

Garbage is a project founded by producers Butch Vig, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker, who started to work together in 1993, while Shirley Manson joined them in 1994 after finishing a tour with her former band. Butch Vig already worked with the world’s biggest bands, being best known as the producer of Nirvana's masterpiece album Nevermind, as well as producing critically acclaimed albums for Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins.

In 2012, Vig was shortlisted by NME magazine as one of the top 10 best producers in the world. In 1995, Garbage started releasing singles from their first album, and the songs "Stupid Girl" and "Only Happy When It Rains" won over charts worldwide and secured the band three Grammy nominations.

Their second album, "Version 2.0", reclaimed their position on the charts, earning the band two Grammy nominations.

Garbage also worked on the soundtrack for the 19th James Bond movie and released the theme song "The World Is Not Enough," which achieved great worldwide success and was one of the best-selling songs of 1999.

Their third album, "Beautiful Garbage", was released in 2001 and after the release of the album "Bleed Like Me" in 2005, the band announced they were going their separate ways for a while. They briefly reunited in 2007 when they recorded several new songs for the retrospective album "Absolute Garbage".

They officially reunited in 2011 and released the "Not Your Kind of People" album a year later, while "Strange Little Birds" followed in 2016.

Garbage announced that they will be releasing their seventh studio album this year, which fans will have the opportunity to hear live at Zagreb’s Lake Jarun at the 14th edition of the INmusic festival.

More news on the festivals in Croatia can be found in our Lifestyle section.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Museum Night to Be Held on 1 February

ZAGREB, December 17, 2018 - The 14th edition of Museum Night will be held throughout Croatia on 1 February with "Museums - Innovations and Digital Future" as its main theme.

The Croatian Museum Association (HMD) has called on museums, galleries and similar institutions to propose their programmes on this topic by 11 January.

Digital spaces enable viewing and searching through huge amounts of different museum contents and make them available to a great number of users, the HMD, a non-governmental and non-profit organisation, said in a press release, noting that "museums have become attractive spaces for innovation."

Last year, Museum Night was held in over 200 museums and similar institutions in about 100 cities and towns across Croatia under the title "Museums and Sports - Faster, Higher, Stronger".

Fourteen years ago, when this event was organised in Croatia for the first time, only six museums in Zagreb joined the campaign.

The initiative - the Long Night of Museums - was launched in Germany in 1997 and then spread to France. As of 2005 it became a Europe-wide cultural event in which museums and cultural institutions in an area cooperate to remain open late into the night to attract visitors.

In Croatia, admission to all Museum Night venues is free.

More news on Croatian museums can be found in our Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

President Visits Prosciutto, Wine and Truffles Festivals

ZAGREB, October 20, 2018 - President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović visited on Saturday the 12th International Prosciutto Fair in Tinjan, Istria County, as well as the nearby community of Motovun, where she opened the 9th festival of Teranno wine and truffles.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Pumpkin Festival Starting in Ivanić-Grad

The annual festival takes place over the weekend.

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