Chef Deni Srdoč, Croatia
Nebo Restaurant, Hotel Hilton Rijeka, 3 Gault&Millau toques (16.5/20), Young Talent of the Year Trophy 2018
Even though he has just turned 30, the culinary biography of Deni Srdoč includes the highest gastronomic achievements: he brought the first Michelin star to Draga di Lovrana restaurant, where he also won the trophy for the Young Talent of the Year 2018 by the Gault&Millau Croatia guide. He brought the second Michelin star – as well as three 3 G&M toques – to Nebo restaurant in Hotel Hilton Rijeka, which he has been running for two years.
His passion for cooking goes back to his grandma, with whom he savoured the strong flavours of local ingredients on his home island of Krk. Eventually he quit the study of electrical engineering and went to Oliva Allegra, a private school of hospitality in Split. He did his training with chef Dino Galvagno in Zagreb, and then came to Lovran, where he became the head chef after four years of learning alongside Zdravko Tomšić. He sees the culinary art as an opportunity for constant learning and improvement so he usually saves the winter season for training. He worked at Azurmenda, a Spanish restaurant with 3 Michelin stars, at Atelier with Jan Hartwig, with the famous chef Thomas Keller in The French Laundry near San Francisco… Grandma’s Mediterranean cooking is his lasting inspiration, but at Nebo he has developed a style that combines modern and traditional, including elements from Italian and French cuisine.