“Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.” – Elsa Schiaparelli
Last weekend Regent Porto Montenegro hosted a unique gastronomic experience, ‘Game of Chefs’. This event, conceptualised by the hotel and the first of its kind in Montenegro, saw the best chefs from the Balkans coming together to showcase their skills and specialities.
Seven top Executive Chefs participated, representing Albania, two regions in Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Guests were treated to seven courses, one by each of the star chefs, accompanied by a wine pairing.
The first course of the evening came from the Regent Porto Montenegro’s own Zeljko Knezovic, who represented the country with ‘Egg in the Sea’. The dish was a subtle yet delicious combination of slow cooked egg, poached mussels with Njegusi prosciutto, goats’ cheese and crispy chicken skin.
Oltion Veshi of Koteci restaurant in Albania prepared the second course,‘From Head to Tail’. This rich dish paired oxtail terrine with beef tartare, and was presented in line with Veshi’s gourmet philosophy.
Next up were the vibrant flavours of Bosnia & Hercegovina courtesy of Nihad Mameledzija, know for his superb menu at Sarajevo’s 4 Rooms of Mrs Safija and the culinary TV show, Skola Kuhanja. Mameledzija prepared ‘Chicken Liver a la Mrs Safija’, keeping it authentic by bringing some of the ingredients with him from home. The dish consisted of aromatic chicken liver with honey, peperoncino and organic creamed corn topped with a mini salad and aromatic rose petals.
The fourth course took diners on a culinary journey to Slovenia. Jure Tomic of Osterija Debeluh symbolised the merging of land and sea through his dish, aptly called ‘Scallops in a Forest’. The dish was a gentle combination of grilled scallops on a bed of porcini crème, topped with trompette mushroom crumble and sprinkled with olive oil powder.
Inspired by the smell of sea air, Croatia’s Ante Udovicic of Paradigma prepared the fifth course – Adriatic calamari and sea bass with black garlic coulis (dry aged for 30 days), silky celery emulsion and broad bean cream.
The last savoury dish of the night was ‘The Best of Veal’ by Filip Ciric of Belgrade’s Homa. This sumptuous course consisted of tender veal fillet, sliced marinated tongue and sweetbreads, accompanied by bordelaise sauce, vegetables a la minestrone and fresh black truffle.
Petra Jelenic of Zagreb’s revolutionary patisserie, Mak na Konac, was the special guest of the night and made an exceptional dessert that perfectly fitted the autumn season. Paying homage to the earth, guests ended dinner with a dessert of parsley root gel, poppy biscuit, candied muscat pumpkin, guanaja sorbet and lemon curd.
‘Game of Chefs’ was completely sold-out and proved that gastronomy has an important part to play in the region’s tourism industry. It also provided an excellent platform to support the many talented chefs in the region. Petra Jelenic commented, “I am honoured to be a part of this idea. I am impressed with the organization of the event and the location. It has been an excellent opportunity to meet others in the industry and share our ‘know how’ to better develop the quality of the culinary scene in the region.”
After such a successful evening, we hope that that ‘Game of Chefs’ will become a regular feature on the Regent Porto Montenegro calendar!
Source: Regent Porto Montenegro