July 29, 2022 – Index.hr writing about a vegetarian pop-up restaurant opened in Zadar by chef Paul Ivić.
Paul Ivić is an Austrian chef, one of Vienna’s most renowned chefs, where his vegetarian restaurant Tian in the very center of Vienna proudly wears a Michelin star. In June, he opened a vegetarian pop-up Tian Am Meer Bistro at Falkensteiner’s Resort Punta Skala, which will be open until September 18.
Ivić says he has long dreamed of getting closer to Croatian cuisine – the cuisine of the country where his father was born and where he spent several weeks a year as a child. When the Falkensteiner Hotel in Zadar approached him with the idea of opening a pop-up summer restaurant, he didn’t want to miss the chance.
As in many other places, the desire to eat vegetarian is growing in Zadar. Bistro Tian Am Meer really wants to attract locals. It’s quite logical for Ivić: the Croatia of his childhood tastes of fresh vegetables and sun-ripened fruits, and meat was eaten only on special occasions – often on Sundays, always on public holidays.
He visited the region around Zadar several times with his colleagues in order to find producers with the best quality local ingredients. Most of the food comes from small family farms (OPGs, as they are called in Croatia) that don’t have international distribution partners and often don’t even have a website. Many don’t even know they are growing heirloom varieties, some of which are on the verge of extinction. They are non-networking and do not engage in any type of marketing. Ivić wants to teach them to appreciate what they have.
When he discovered the common glasswort (the literal translation of the name in Croatian would be “sea asparagus) in Nin he started picking it up. That fresh smell of salt – that’s what he wanted to serve his guests in the evening. “We didn’t want to come here and modernize Croatian cuisine,” says Ivić. We want to stay true to the Viennese Tian style of cooking, which means we don’t serve vegetarian mushroom skewers or similar dishes that mimic meat. ingredient has a chance to shine.
The bistro serves vegetable soup, olive oil emulsion and ajvar. Then, stuffed zucchini flowers, grown by the chef of the hotel’s fish restaurant, as well as jams by Sandra Babac. The bread comes from the Kroštula bakery in Zadar. Hotel workers were “super excited” after the trial on opening day, although many said they ate meat every day, Ivić said.