With rain lashing down on Lake Jarun in Zagreb on April 15, 2012, there was a reminder of the inhospitable side of Nature in the Croatian capital, as the kitchens of Restaurant Lido put on a culinary show to remember by recreating the original last Titanic menu on the 100th anniversary of the ship's tragic sinking.
The meal was the idea of Croatia's only Master Chef, Zdravko Kalabric, whose glittering 38-year career in Canada included his first recreation of the 11-course menu in 1998, after members of the York Downs Golf and Country Club in Toronto with a maritime connection wanted to commemorate various disasters at sea.
Kalabric, now officially retired, but still very active on the culinary scene, is a regular visitor to the island of Hvar, where he is coaching a young Dalmatian team, under the tutelage of famous Split chef Zlatko Marinovic from Nostromo, for the 2012 culinary Olympics in Erfurt, and he had his entire Olympic team in the kitchen, with additional chefs from Split, Istria and Prague.
The food was excellent, as was the music.
The guests were completely relaxed and had an enjoyable evening, and things were not too stressful in the kitchen, despite the much smaller space than the original Titanic kitchens, as Kalabric brought his decades of experience to the Lido kitchens and its chefs, some of whom he had met for the first time only three hours before the start of the dinner.
The meal in pictures...
The tenth course was tea and coffee. After the main courses and before the dessert, Master of Ceremonies Marinovic introduced the chefs to the guests:
The night, however, belonged to Kalabric, an inspirational character who is effecting positive change in the young chefs with whom he engages.