Friday, 12 April 2019

Korculanske Pjatance 2019, a Spring Food and Wine Festival Not to Miss

April 12, 2019 - Gourmet heaven in Spring, as historic Korcula comes alive with the Korculanske Pjatance Spring Food and Wine Festival.

It was without doubt the nice thing we did as a family last year. 

And if someone asked me to cherry pick a Croatian gourmet experience, I don't think I could have done better than a 5-course special at arguably Croatia's leading luxury boutique hotel, Lesic Dimitri, whose restaurant is in the Michelin Guide, with wines from Bire, who was coincidentally celebrating 20 years of his iconic Lumbarda winery, most famous for its Grk. A perfect introduction to a fabulous food and wine festival on Korcula, which this year returns from April 26-30. You can read about the opening night here.

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Tara's Lodge in early MayTara's Lodge in early May with such glorious Korcula weather - it was impossible to get the kids to get in the car back to Varazdin. And the workshops! My kids adored the homemade pasta masterclass at Filippi, and foraging for herbs with pastry chef Petra Jelicic before learning how to use them to make some outstanding desserts in another Michelin-rated restaurant - Konoba Mate in Pupnat

Could that outstanding programme be bettered? Impossible! Or so you would think. But this year's programme looks tantilising indeed. Check out the press release and programme below. 

And I know that we Brits are not famous for our food (at least in terms of high quality), but what a fantastic opening night combination to start the festival. British owner of Lesic Dimitri will be the host, and Londoner Jo Ahearne MW, the only Master of Wine in Croatia, will make the short journey from her adopted home on Hvar, to sort the wines. 

This is a truly fabulous event - don't miss it. 

SPRING FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL KORČULANSKE PJATANCE

Dino Galvagno, Hrvoje Zirojević, Jo Ahearne, Marko Gajski, Biljana Milat, Lucija Tomašić, Damir Šarić and others famous names of the Croatian food and wine scene, will be our guests at the third edition of the Spring Food and Wine Festival Korčulanske Pjatance, which will be held from 26th to 30th April, organized by Korčula’s finest restaurants. 

Korčulanske pjatance is already recognized by the profession and the media. Last year we offered creative plates defined within the framework of modern Croatian cuisine, with additional guest appearances from people like the famous chefs David Skoko and Steven Pieters, or pastry chef Petra Jelinić. 

This year, masterclasses will be held by some of the most famous names of Croatian culinary art, chef Dino Galvagno who is in top 10 Croatian chefs, chef Hrvoje Zirojević, recently established as the chef of the year in the Gault&Millau, gourmet guide and successful young pastry chef Lucija Tomašić. The art of making homemade bread will be presented by Damir Šarić, and Jo Ahearne, a British Master of Wine who lives in Croatia will preside over our Wine Night with her personal selection of the best wines from Korčula. 

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All the Festival visitors will enjoy our Chef’s creativity, great seasonal produce and the finest local wines at special prices. 

The Korčulanske Pjatance Association brings together the finest Korčula restaurant: Adio Mare, Aterina, Barić, Filippi, LD Restaurant, Marco's, Nonno, Radiona, Konoba Maha, Konoba Mate as well as OPG Eko Škoj, a producer of organic local olive oils, jams and herbs. They all take their inspiration from locally grown, seasonal food and herbs. 

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This year's Festival will see collaboration with the Petar Šegedin High School in Korčula, which will host masterclasses in their well-equipped demonstration kitchen. 

The value and importance of the Festival and Korčula's gastronomic offer has once again been recognized by the most prestigious global gastronomic guide Michelin which for the second year in a row has assigned three recommendations, for LD Restaurant, Filippi Restaurant and Konoba Mate. Together with our visiting experts local chefs will be presented, primarily chef Marko Gajski, a participant in this year's Chef's Stage in Šibenik, Biljana Milana who recently won the prestigious Gault&Millau award for pastry chef of the year, and the Slow Food Pelješac Association, whose members will hold a workshop for children. Participants will also take part in a cocktail workshop in cooperation with Coca Cola and an education course on local olive oils.

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FESTIVAL PROGRAM

 

Korčula and surrounding places

26 – 30 April 2019

26.04.2019.

11.00

Konoba Maha

Official opening of the festival with presentation of participants, business partners and other associates – for invitees of festival and public media

15.00

Cocktail Workshop – Powered by Coca Cola

19.00

LD Restaurant

Korčula in the Bottle – five-course dinner with wine choices by Jo Ahearne - Master of Wine

27.04.2019.

11.00

Bistro Radiona

The Art of Brunch – traditional brunch of Korčula

14.00

Demonstration Kitchen at the Petar Šegedin High School in Korčula

Pastry shop Mala Truba – healthy desserts and bread made of homemade yeast and whole-wheat flour workshop

19.00

Konoba Maha

Guest chef Dino Galvagno – multi-course dinner with wine

28.04.2019.

9.00

Demonstration Kitchen at the Petar Šegedin High School in Korčula

Masterclass: Wild Edibles & Entrails – chef Dino Galvagno

19.00

Korčulanske pjatance

Lagoon Regata – dinner for regatta participants

29.04.2019.

11.00

Demonstration Kitchen at the Petar Šegedin High School in Korčula

Slow Food Peljesac Association – Lecture and workshop for children

15.00

Demonstration Kitchen at the Petar Šegedin High School in Korčula

Masterclass: Sea on the Plate – chef Hrvoje Zirojević

19.00

Aterina Restaurant

City museum of Korčula – Culture of nutrition through history of Korčula, lecture powered by Aterina snacks

30.04.2019.

10.00

Demonstration Kitchen at the Petar Šegedin High School in Korčula

Eko Škoj and Sensory analysts of Korčula island – presentation, tasting and education about olive oils of Korčula island

19.00

A joint dinner of all “Pjatance” participants for all gourmets

23.00

Festival After Party

Follow the latest on the official Facebook page.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Dubrovnik-Neretva County Promo Film Wins Award in New York

Dubrovnik is no stranger to winning awards and you're probably used to reading about it, but this area in the extreme south of Dalmatia continues to fascinate the world for an abundance of reasons. From its stunning natural beauty and crystal clear sea, to its rich history and equally impressive culture, the Pearl of the Adriatic and its immediate surrounding area just keep on making the world's jaws drop.

This time however, it isn't just the famous Dalmatian UNESCO protected old city and its mighty walls which are taking home yet another award for a promotional film made about its unique beauty, but the wider area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. This truly picturesque part of southern Croatia boasts an almost equal amount of natural beauty and history, and from Ston to Konavle next to the Montenegrin border, you'll likely have your breath taken away multiple times.

As Morski writes on the 11th of April, 2019, the brand new promotional film from the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board, ''Dubrovnik Riviera'' continues to win awards and receive recognition from all sides. To be more precise, at the 2019 New York Festivals® International Film and TV awards festival, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, the promo film showcasing Dubrovnik-Neretva County's sheer beauty came third place and won the bronze plaquette.

To briefly recall, at the recent ''The Golden City Gate'' ceremony in Berlin, Germany, at the biggest international ITB World Tourism Fair, the promotional film came second place in the category of regional films, the film has been made by Balduci Film from Zagreb, was directed by Herve Tirmarche and produced by Spomenka Saraga. The film depicts the beauty of Dubrovnik-Neretva County from the Neretva valley, to the islands of Korčula and Mljet, and then Croatia's southernmost municipality of Konavle, which borders Montenegro.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and travel pages for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik and southern Dalmatia you're interested in, have a look at Dubrovnik in a Page for everything you need to know about the Rearl of the Adriatic.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Korčula's Bus Station Concrete Structure Removed

As we previously reported, there are major plans for what is supposed to happen to the area around Korčula's bus station, which is also a main entrance to the Korčula town for all those arriving by car, in the next year or two. 

The first change, which we announced would happen very soon, has already been completed. As we've reported a couple of weeks ago, the removal of the (some would say quite ugly) concrete structure that has been hovering above the bus station was going to happen. And, what can we say, it has happened!

The officials in Korčula were quite careful with giving the timeline how long the works on the removal might last, since they were not quite sure how easy it would be to actually remove the concrete, but I guess it was in fact quite easy. As of a couple of days ago, I can happily report that the structure is no more, and this morning the entire protective shield that was erected around the building to protect it from any damage the demolition might've brought upon it has also been removed.

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The road blocks are still around the perimeter of the site, as it has obviously not been fully prepared to take buses again safely, but the bulk of the work has been done in the past couple of weeks. And it seems to have been done without any damage to the remainder of the bus stop.

And one important note: the Tisak kiosk located in the bus station building seems to be working again, which is of course excellent news for those needing a little something for their nicotine addiction, as well as for the school kids taking the bus to and from home, who are (let's be honest) the biggest buyers at the kiosk every day anyway! 

 

 

Friday, 22 March 2019

Vela Luka: Construction of Passenger Terminal and Fishing Port in 2019

As Morski writes on the 21st of March, 2019, a session of the Municipal Council of Vela Luka on the island of Korčula was attended by the county's deputy prefect Joško Cebalo, who expressed the wider county's support for all of the innovative projects currently being prepared and implemented by the municipality, which are aided by EU funds.

''This time especially, I'd like to emphasise sincere congratulations to all of the employees of Vela Luka's home for the elderly for the municipal award that will be given to them today,'' Joško Cebalo stated, adding that the project of energy renovation for the home, which is worth more than four million kuna, will soon begin.

Port infrastructure is still seen as a top priority for Vela Luka. Deputy Prefect Cebalo stressed the fact that this issue really is a matter over which the county's administration is continuing to take care and that one of its main priorities is the continued renewal and further construction of Vela Luka's highly important port infrastructure.

According to him, the county is currently preparing as many as eight projects worth over 500 million kuna in total, and the most important for Vela Luka's residents were highlighted, these include the construction of a new ferry-passenger terminal worth 60 million kuna, which should be implemented this year, and the project of the construction of a fishing port, for which the project documentation is currently being prepared.

''As the completion of the construction of Pelješac bridge will be the symbol of the first decade of Croatia's membership of the European Union, these two projects in Vela Luka will symbolise [our] development thanks to EU funds, as well as our care for the islands,'' concluded Vela Luka's deputy prefect.

Make sure to stay up to date on the construction of infrastructure in Vela Luka and far beyond by following our dedicated lifestyle and business pages. If it's just the island of Korčula you're interested in, give Total Korčula a follow.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Concrete Structure at Korčula Bus Station to be Removed

The preparations for the removal of the (some would say ugly, not sure how many those who wouldn't call it there are at all) concrete structure above the Korčula bus station, in the centre of the town, have started, and it is expected that the removal should be completed by Easter.

The current appearance of the Korčula bus station is set to change drastically, and is a part of a larger project that includes a private company owning the bus station itself, the town of Korčula and the Korčula ACI marina (which is right next to the bus station). ACI Marina Korčula director Marko Skokandić, who happens to currently be the head of the Town Assembly of Korčula explained to Dora Lozica at Dubrovački Vjesnik what the plans are:

The marina has purchased the bus station from the private company, and the removal of the concrete structure is the first step (in addition to it not being esthetically pleasing, it is also getting dangerous for anything under it). The actual removal will not be easy, and the bakery and the kiosk located in the bus station building will temporarily be closed, and building protected. The traffic in the zone will be slowed down, and the buses will let people get on and off them at the entrance to the Marina, right next to the station.

After that phase, the second step in the plan is to build an underground garage with 200 parking spots, which should solve the problem of parking in Korčula. The new ACI hotel is also planned, with highest standard of service, and the location where the bus station is will be turned into a roundabout for buses and taxis. And once the Liburna building across the street is fully restored, the entrance to Korčula will be completely different. The bus station should be moved to a different location, near the health center, where another roundabout should be built.

All of those steps will come after the tourist season of 2019, including the reconstruction of the breakwater in the marina.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Energetic Transition Process Begins on Croatian Islands

The Clean Energy Secretariat on EU islands held an energy transition workshop attended by representatives from the Croatian islands of Brač, Cres, Hvar, Korčula and Lošinj last week.

As Morski writes on the 18th of March, 2019, Croatian islands officially launched an energetic transition up and down the coast. Back at the beginning of February this year, the Secretariat's initiative for clean energy for the EU's islands, which was initiated by the Croatian MEP Tonino Picula, announced a list of 26 European island communities that will receive expert and advisory support for the energy transition strategy in the coming period, writes Pokret otoka (Island movement).

Among the 26 selected islands are four Croatian island communities: The Cres-Lošinj archipelago and Brač, Hvar and Korčula. The two-day workshop, organised with the cooperation of the cities of Cres and Mali Lošinj, the OTRA Island Development Agency, LAG Kvarner Islands and Pokret otoka (Island movement) as local partners, gathered forty representatives of selected islands that, with expert assistance, will set the first foundations of energy transition plans. The gathering took place last weekend and this is the first of a total of ten workshops which will be carried out by the Secretariat for the EU islands in the forthcoming period.

Representatives of transition teams from all five islands participated in the workshop in Mali Lošinj, which will work on strategy development in cooperation with partners and experts in the coming period. The goal of the two-day workshop, besides transferring knowledge and experiences from different areas, has also been gathering, networking and strengthening the island's stakeholders for further cooperation in the energy transition process.

The Cres-Lošinj archipelago, set as one of the six European pilot projects, should have its energy transition plan should be ready by the end of summer 2019. The remaining twenty islands, including Brač, Hvar and Korčula, will have their plans in place by 2020. Despite the abundance of renewable energy sources, many islands currently depend on fossil fuels and energy imports from the mainland. The transition to clean energy can help the islands not only become more self-reliant and prosperous, but also open up new opportunities for employment in their communities and encourage further direct development of the islands.

The other islands that will be pilot projects in the initiative are the Irish Islands, Sifnos in Greece, Salina in Italy, La Palma in Spain and Culatra in Portugal. Twenty other islands will follow their development and enjoy the suppor of experts in the same direction. An expert team of the Secretariat for the islands will produce guides to initiate energy transition, encourage community involvement and discuss project financing in the forthcoming period.

Croatian islanders will have the opportunity to cooperate with each other, create a network of good practices, educate themselves and and participate in various events. It is important to emphasise the fact that the whole initiative is based on the "bottom up" approach, and the primary principle of transition success is based on the involvement of all local community stakeholders, which include the representatives of local self-government units, entrepreneurs, educational institutions, and of course civic initiatives.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more information on Croatian islands and much, much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Ana Marija Jakas for Pokret otoka (Island movement)

Monday, 11 March 2019

Zagreb Archaeological Museum Promoting Lumbarda Psephisma

ZAGREB, March 11, 2019 - A series of events dedicated to Lumbarda Psephisma, a stone inscription about the founding of an Ancient Greek settlement on the southern Croatian island of Korčula, will start on 13 March, and includes nine lectures about the archaeological heritage of the municipality of Lumbarda located on the eastern tip of the island.

A hundred and forty years ago, segments of the monument were discovered, which represents the founding document for the establishment of a colony which was set up by the Greeks from the nearby island of Vis, at around the 3rd century BC, the head of the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Sanjin Mihelić said on Monday while presenting the findings of the current archaeological activities on Korcula and results of the reconstruction of the monument.

Lumbarda Psephisma is the oldest stone inscription found on Croatian soil. It also contains information about the allotment of land among the then Greek settlers on the island of Korčula.

Next spring, the Zagreb museum will prepare an exhibition about this matter in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, and the event has been prepared within the bilateral cooperation between Croatia and Greece.

That exhibition about Lumbarda Psephisma will be the culmination of cultural cooperation during Croatia's chairmanship of the European Union in the first half of 2020.

Greek Ambassador to Croatia, Stavros Tsiepas, congratulated the Zagreb museum's director and the team of archaeologists and researchers engaged in the digs and presentation of the relevant finds.

More news about Korčula can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The Islands of Korcula and Vrnik to Host Travel Writing Workshop

Professional travel journalists will teach a weeklong course about the skills required to write for publications.

Shorthand Travel, a team of journalists teaching writing workshops in Croatia, has partnered with Vrnik Arts Club to present travelers with an opportunity to explore the Croatian coast and islands while learning how to live and work from anywhere in the world. The travel writers and teachers for the course are Alex Crevar and Molly Harris—regular contributors to The New York Times, National Geographic, Lonely Planet and BBC Travel, among others. Their Korcula workshop will occur 23-30 June 2019. 

Students will stay on Korcula during the weeklong course and take a 10-minute boat transfer for morning lectures on the island of Vrnik. Each day, travel writers will gather for instruction and assignments before heading out to do their reporting. Scheduled group excursions, such as visiting local artists or winemakers, will help students uncover angles on which to report and write.

Lecture topics will include investigating travel-story genres, developing angles, pitching well, and following industry ethics and etiquette. The instructors' combined and varied experience will provide students with balanced insight and informative tips. 

The workshop fee of $1,950 (1,710€) includes some meals, morning lectures, afternoon critiques, crafting pitches, editing assignments and follow-up communication to help writers place stories after the course ends. Airfare and Airbnbs (though the workshop will assist students to find specific lodging) are not included. 

For more information and news about the course or the instructors, refer to their website, www.shorthandtravel.com/about . Feel free to reach out with questions or assistance needs by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Monday, 18 February 2019

Cres, Losinj, Hvar, Brac, Korcula in 1st EU Clean Energy Transition Islands Initiative

Brussels, 18 February 2019 - Today, 26 European islands have officially launched their clean energy transition with the support of the European Commission’s Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat. 

In the first phase, 6 islands, the Aran Islands (Ireland), the Cres-Lošinj archipelago (Croatia), Sifnos (Greece), Culatra (Portugal), Salina (Italy) and La Palma (Spain) will develop and publish their clean energy transition agendas by summer 2019. The other 20 islands will do so by summer 2020.
 
These islands are:

• Hvar, Croatia                

• New Caledonia, France      

• Pantelleria, Italy          

• A Illa de Arousa, Spain

• Brač, Croatia

• Crete, Greece

• Azores, Portugal

• Gotland, Sweden

• Korčula, Croatia

• Samos, Greece

• Ibiza, Spain

• Öland, Sweden

• Kökar, Finland

• Cape Clear, Ireland

• Mallorca, Spain

• Orkney, UK

• Marie-Galante, France

• Favignana, Italy

• Menorca, Spain

• Group of Off-Grid Scottish Islands, UK

Dominique Ristori, Director-General for Energy at the European Commission, said:

“The 26 islands selected display a remarkable potential and enthusiasm for developing strong and lasting multi-stakeholder collaborations around the clean energy transition. By embarking on this path, not only will they become more energy self-reliant and prosperous, but also provide inspiring examples for other islands and Europe as a whole. This in turn will help the EU achieve its ambitious climate and energy targets.”

There are more than 2200 inhabited islands in the EU. Despite having an abundance of renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar and wave energy, many of them currently depend on expensive fossil fuel imports for their energy supply. The clean energy transition can help islands not only become more self-sufficient and prosperous, but also unlock new employment opportunities in their communities.

The objective of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat is to help as many European islands as possible embark on and advance their clean energy transition in a way that includes the whole island and its stakeholders. Based on experience with successful transition processes, the key to success is to involve all levels of governance of the islands - citizens, municipalities, local businesses, universities and schools – as well as relevant stakeholders from the mainland and bring them on board to actively support and shape their own transition. 

Croatian MEP Tonino Picula said: "Islands are becoming more and more visible on the European agenda. The support for 26 islands throughout the Union is an important step in making island communities torchbearers in clean energy transition. This is a first, but an important, step in securing permanent EU assistance to islands. Congratulations to everyone!"

The 26 islands were selected based on their potential for establishing a high-quality transition process with the support of the Secretariat. In order to serve as inspiring examples for as many European islands as possible over the coming years, special attention was paid to including islands covering a broad variety of geographic and contextual conditions.

To learn more about the project and follow progress on its interactive map, click here

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

From Asparagus to Grk, Why Korcula is a Top Spring Gourmet Destination

February 13, 2019 - Korcula is quietly establishing itself as a luxury gourmet destination, and if you want to see it truly shy, late April is the time to be there.

After the snow and the cold, the sun is beaming through my Varazdin window, and thoughts turn to one of the nicest times of year - Spring in Croatia. 

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One of my highlights of 2018 took place in Spring last year, a rather delightful discovery on Korcula. The weather played fair, and the long May bank holiday weekend was spent at the 2nd Korcula Spring Food and Wine Festival, Korculanske Pjatance. 

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A group of restaurants from the town and surrounding villages put on an outstanding selection of dinners, cooking classes, workshops, wine tastings and live music that really worked well. Included were two of the stars of the Dalmatian dining scene, Michelin-recommended Lesic Dimitri and Konoba Mate in Pupnat. We were fortunate to arrive for one very special occasion, the 20th anniversary of the Bire winery in Lumbarda, famous for its Grk, where the Bire wines were paired with a 5-course classic from Marko Gajski, resident chef at Lesic. 

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With accommodation right on the beach at Tara's Lodge at Zrnovska Banja, the kids took to the Tara motto of Eat, Sleep, Beach, Repeat with gusto. In between, there was foraging for herbs in the woods near Pupnat for a dessert workshop with celebrity pastry chef Petra Jelenic, and a pasta-making masterclass with Filippi, which my daughters enjoyed immensely. A wonderful family event. 

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Korculanske Pjatance returns this year from April 26-30, during the Easter Holidays, so there is even more reason to head down to this lovely Dalmatian island. You can follow the event on Facebook

Stay a few days longer, until May 3, and enjoy yet one more festival, Sparogijada. If you have never tried wild asparagus before, you are truly missing out. Much more bitter and concentrated than traditional asparagus, it is one of the most eagerly-awaited times of year for locals, who disappear into the fields to forage for their own supply. 

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You don't have to do that, as the asparagus comes to you in the form of the Sparogijada festival, which is described as follows by the Korcula Tourist Board:

Taste traditional dishes made with asparagus, a delectable plant found in Korčula's nearby fields.Taste traditional dishes made with asparagus, a delectable plant found in Korčula's nearby fields.

The asparagus is a favourite seasonal ingredient picked during the April-May period.

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Students of Korčula culinary school prepare various dishes with asparagus and other local ingredients. For those with a sweet tooth, they prepare traditional Korčula cakes and pastries.

Keep up with the latest from this lovely island with our Total Korcula section

 

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