FOURty seconds with Tomislav Gretic

09 Sep 2014
3 min read
Executive Chef at Wine Vault Restaurant at Hotel Monte Mulini in Rovinj, Croatia, Tomislav Gretic gives us an insight into his culinary world…

What is your earliest memory of being interested in food?

My earliest food and cooking memory was from my home. My mum, dad and grandmother all cooked. Mum for lunch and dinner every day, dad for some special events. What I remember as something special is my Granny cooking in small and steamy kitchen, pickling peppers and cucumbers for winter or making stews and roasts for hours and hours. There would be always a spoon to lick or a pot to eat out of, and that made me feel special.

Describe your culinary philosophy…

I love good and comforting food. I don’t follow a lot of trends such as molecular, carbon footprint, or picking my own leaves. I take local and seasonal produce of the highest quality and combine it with the best that the world has to offer at any given moment. Then I make simple and honest food with it, matching never more than 3 ingredients on the plate. And that’s it.

What kind of experience do you aim to give guests at your restaurant?

Of course it’s all about food. Since we don’t do trendy food, I want my guests to be fascinated by taste, not technical ability or crazy presentation. I want them to feel like they are at home with every mouthful. Of course the Chef’s Table at Wine Vaultis completely different. While Wine Vault is nicely decorated with soft music and dimed lights, the menu at Chef’s Table is built through conversation with guests and served until the guest is full. Last year that was 28 courses.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

I’ve had several proud moments over the course of my career. One was cooking with , who was voted as Best chef of Croatia for 2013 by the colleges. Another was the opening of Monte Mulini hotel and managing to bring it to to Leading of the World standards. Additionally, I’m proud to have created the first Chef’s table in Croatia.

And your most challenging?

Every day is challenging, but that’s why I love what I’m doing. Every day something new or something different.

What are three of your most indispensable ingredients?

I am a sucker for good demi-sel butter. Addicted to foie gras. In love with dry aged beef. I have more but you asked for three…

If you could take a plane ride to anywhere in the world, just for one meal, where would it be and why?

Wow that is a difficult one. Nothing fancy, no Michelin stars. Too much stress. I would probably load my wife and bunch of our friends on the plane and go somewhere on the beach with fish from char, a few bottles of Sauvignon Blanc ,couple of cigars and a good bottle of rum. Watch a sunset and enjoy.

Hotel Monte Mulini,situated in the Istrian coastal resort of Rovinj, Croatia, is home to Restaurant Wine Vault, where ExecutiveChefTomislavGretićserves acontemporary blend of French and Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Gretic has introduced the first Croatian Chef’s Table experience for foodies from around the world, where guests where Chef will ask guests what type of food they enjoy and will create dishes specifically based on the their preferences.Chef Gretic’s hobby is drawing, and the walls of the Chef’s Table at the Wine Vault are adorned with his drawings, and his sketches of dishes are also on the menu. Chef’s wife is actually the Executive Chef at Hotel Monte Mulini’s sister property, Hotel Lone. After graduating from the School of Hospitality, Chef worked at the Yacht Club and Marino on the island of Cres and then numerous restaurants in Croatia and abroad. In Zagreb he worked at the restaurant at the Laguna Hotel and later the Sheraton Hotel. Later, he was the Head Chef in the Palace Hotel in Dubrovnik, followed by jobs in Warsaw, Poland, Dubai, Zurich and Ein Soukhni.