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he Chef of the Year 2022, as selected by the Gault & Millau guide

Zagreb’s sunniest terrace welcomes guests with a divine collection of dishes inspired by Mediterranean flavours

Chef of the Year 2022 Ana Grgić Tomić brings a series of exciting sensations to Zinfandel’s new summer menu 
Yogurt and elderberry pearls, Oscietra caviar, buckwheat popcorn, Kvarner Bay scampi, flower powder, bee pollen, sea urchin, mussels, porcini mushrooms, lovage, lavender, coconut, figs, rhubarb – are only a part of Ana’s new flavour symphony that entices tasting 


The Chef of the Year 2022, as selected by the Gault & Millau guide, and the first lady of the Esplanade kitchen Ana Grgić Tomić who has with her principles of food prep sustainability yet again reaffirmed Zinfandel’s green Michelin star, has just launched a new summer edition of the à la carte menu, where she combines fresh and carefully selected premium ingredients into amazing dishes that will delight true hedonists and fans of haute cuisine.


“This menu is inspired by summer, sun, and sea. While designing the new collection, I researched the offer on the market and carefully selected ingredients that I then tried to meticulously combine into refreshing, tempting, contemporary, and, above all, delicious dishes. Special attention was given to ingredients’ sustainability and minimum processing so as to have them preserve their authentic taste. So, for example, I will use a carrot completely, making juice and powder from it. I use both the zucchini fruit and the flower, I use bones to prepare velouté, and I don’t throw away the shrimp shells, but rather boil them into a fine stock that I use for bisque soup that I then enrich with aromatic saffron, orange, marinated red mullet, smoked mussels, and garlic gel. I must admit that I am very pleased with this menu and I believe that the guests will like it,” the Executive Chef Ana Grgić Tomić said, adding: “Among my menu favourites, I would definitely highlight the Kvarner Bay scampi coming from the Velebit channel. This time, I’m serving them with flower powder and a sauce made from carrot juice and bee pollen, which is extremely healthy and nutritious and soothes the nervous system. I decorated many dishes with wonderful edible flowers from local Family Farm, as such giving them a fragrant summer note. Summer is the season of tomatoes, and this time I decided to serve them as a refreshing consommé along with fresh basil and fleur de sel. I found excellent tomatoes at a nearby family farm that grows 80 types of excellent, sweet, juicy and completely different tomatoes. For consommé, I used tomatoes of the oxheart variety – first I roast them, then extract the juice, then fry them and then boil for 4-5 hours to get the most intense aroma, while I serve the strained soup with basil and fresh cherry tomatoes. This time I made gnudi with young goat’s cheese from a local farmer and served them with sea urchin – it is a very simple dish with intense aromas. I combine poached John Dory fillet with a cream of lovage, which I simmer in fish stock, and marinated white asparagus, which I cook in sous vide in acacia juice with soy milk to bring out their bitterness. I stuff fresh zucchini flowers with foamy aromatic truffle cream and serve them with poached egg yolk. It’s the season of young red beet – I used them to make homemade marmalade, which I boiled for 12 hours and mixed with herbs, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil and served with American striploin steak, pine oil, pine nuts, and black garlic. Another summer favourite and a really refreshing summer dish are marinated scallops, this time served with apricot cream, apple cider vinegar, and peach tartare, along with light yogurt and elderberry pearls made with liquid nitrogen. You’ll find a somewhat more intense and aromatic summer flavour in a dessert which perfectly combines bitter chocolate and freshly marinated figs, which I enriched with a sauce made from fig leaves, red wine, and citrus fruits. In this menu, I have included ice sorbet for all those who want to freshen up with flavours of citrus fruits and mint, which, like most herbs, comes from our small garden on the Oleander Terrace. There, my team and I carefully nurture basil, thyme, mint, rosemary, lavender, and chilli peppers, and I believe that this gives our food a unique flavour. I am proud of our homemade crackers and our own foccacia, which we serve with homemade flavoured churned butter, which is foamy and very tasty, as well as premium organic olive oil Nai 3.3 from the island of Dugi Otok, awarded with numerous quality certificates.” 
Zinfandel’s Restaurant, with its modern ambience and magical Oleander Terrace offering a view of the city, is a meeting spot and premium culinary location where guests happily return. Combined with Ana’s innovative courses and charming and professional staff, the restaurant has been an unmissable spot on the gastronomic map of the city for many years. For the full experience, a sommelier will carefully select wines, striving to give guests those labels that perfectly round off their fine dining experience.


The à la carte offer is available every day for lunch and dinner from 12.30 pm to 11 pm. On Sundays at Zinfandel’s, traditional brunch is served from 12.30 pm at a price of HRK 450 (59,73 EUR*). Book your table by phone at 01 4566 644 or by email at [email protected]. The restaurant follows the prescribed epidemiological measures in all business segments and pays special attention to guests’ special diets, which is why dishes according to halal standards of preparation, veggie dishes, and those that should not contain gluten are specially marked.


• PHOTOS  (credits: Esplanade Hotel Archive)
About Executive Chef Ana Grgić Tomić 
This young but already experienced executive chef has been running Zinfandel’s Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Croatia, as well as the charming French restaurant Le Bistro and Esplanade Catering, for more than ten years. Ana pursues the tradition of the Esplanade Hotel’s cuisine while following world-class culinary trends. Her creative and imaginative menus have impressed many guests and celebrities in the past years, as well as members of royal families, such as the Swedish king and queen, the Japanese prince and princess, the prince of Saudi Arabia, the royal couple from Denmark and many others who did not remain indifferent to Ana’s ingenuity in preparing dishes. Ana has received a number of accolades for her personality, excellence, and style of cooking. Prestigious publications have nominated her for Woman of the Year and Person of the Year, and the renowned Guida Gallo guide included her risotto and rice dish among the best in the world in 2013, 2016 and 2022. Ana’s style of preparing dishes and her personality led her to participate in the popular TV cooking programme Celebrity MasterChef as a jury member. In addition, Ana proudly bears the title of ambassador for the Fish Forward Project in Croatia within the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) initiative, setting an example for raising consumer awareness of the global environmental and social consequences of the consumption of fishery products. The Gault&Millau guide awarded Ana the title of Great Chef of Tomorrow, specially emphasising her respect for the seasonality and quality of ingredients, as well as consistent and carefully refined dishes. In 2022 Gault & Millau selected Ana The Chef of the Year 2022. Her culinary virtuosity and creativity have been recognised by the gourmet association Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, which awarded Ana the prestigious title of Chef Rôtisseur.
Sanda Sokol, PR & Marketing Manager – T. +385.1.4566.036, M. +385.91.4766.647, E. [email protected]
Andrea Ožegović, PR & Marketing Coordinator – T. +385.1.4563.888, M. +385.91.4766.648, E. [email protected]
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