Gastronomy: The Spirit of great Escoffier in Croatia
The great master of French gastronomy, Auguste Escoffier, would surely be delighted that his 175th birthday was celebrated in Croatia as well, thanks to his compatriots. Namely, the French ambassador Gaël Veyssière and chef Mickael Alix – president of the Croatian association Disciples Escoffier, organized a Diner d’Epicure in Zagreb, a gala dinner of seven courses, and thus put Croatia on the map of 30 countries on five continents that pay homage to the “father of modern cuisine”.
His culinary guide from 1903 is still considered the Bible of chefs, and driven by altruism and the desire to alleviate poverty, in 1912 he launched a program to organize charity Epicurus dinners. In 1919, French President Raymond Poincare proclaimed him a Knight of the Legion of Honour. Escoffier died in Monaco in 1935, and the foundation that bears his name has managed the only museum of culinary art in France for more than 50 years, opened in Villeneuve – Loubet, the birthplace of the King of Chefs. In the Provencal country house on 300 m2, old ovens, collections of menus, sculptures made of sugar and chocolate and a thematic library on cuisine containing 3,500 books are on display.
The first gathering of the Disciples Escoffier Croatia association
In the hometown of the legendary chef, the international association Followers of Escoffier was also founded, which has been gathering all gastronomic professions for 54 years and promoting Escoffier’s spirit. These include equality of rank, knowledge transfer, respect for culinary history while promoting modernity, generosity and unity. So when the Followers of Escoffier enthrone new members, before they receive the ribbon and diploma, they take an oath: “I swear that I will pass on, serve and respect the Kitchen, its culture and constant progress.” The red ribbon is intended for food professions, the purple for hospitality professionals and sommeliers, the green for quality food producers and winemakers, the blue for non-culinary professionals in the food industry and media, and the orange for young talents. At the Diner d’Epicure, in the French ambassador’s residence in Zagreb, the host Gaël Veyssière, chefs Mickael Alix, Tomica and Ivan Đukić, Tino Vojaković – director of the Croatian Disciples Escoffier and winemaker Damir Josić, received ribbons and diplomas, and recognitions were handed to them by Pierre Alain Favre, vice president of Disciples Escoffier International. Local chefs led by Mickael Alix, who has been living in Zagreb for eight years, prepared a dinner for the guests according to a unique menu compiled for the whole world by chef Nicolas Sale, president of the international association of Escoffier followers. The guests enjoyed goose liver delicacies, dim – sum of duck meat, lobster, beef fillet, chocolate minion by pastry chef Emilien Geslin of the Magnolia confectionery, a selection of island Pag cheeses and wines from the Josić winery. With its sophisticated guitar performance, the Oridano Gipsy Jazz Band completed the experience of presenting Escoffier’s legacy in Croatia and paying tribute to the gastronomic giant.