Chef of the Week: Chef Bruno Vokal, Head Chef at Noel, Zagreb’s first Michelin-star restaurant

We’re very comfortable to characteristic a younger Croatian star who has just lately made the transition from sous chef to go chef. However this isn’t your typical culinary promotion, as Bruno took over the helm at Zagreb’s prestigious Noel restaurant, the primary restaurant in Croatia’s capital to obtain a Michelin star award.

He took over from Chef Goran Kočiš, who additionally owns the restaurant, and which speaks volumes about Bruno Vokal’s abilities and the belief vested in him.

Chef Bruno Vokal has a wealthy worldwide expertise with stints at many high eating places in Austria, Montenegro, and the UK. However he returned residence, to stunning Croatia, first working as a sous chef with Mario Curić, the pinnacle chef of Dubrovnik’s prestigious Restaurant 360, who was awarded a Michelin star in 2018.

Chef’s Pencil has talked to Bruno about his profession and his work at Noel, in addition to Croatian delicacies and recommendation for younger cooks.


Story put along with the assistance of the Croatian Nationwide Vacationer Board.

1. What impressed you to change into a chef?

My inspiration to change into a chef was in good half attributable to genetics, particularly due to my grandmothers and my mom who’re within the enterprise. Having proven curiosity from an early age, it was apparent that I used to be destined for the kitchen. I’m very comfortable about that and I can’t think about that issues would have gone any in another way.

2. The place did you practice to prepare dinner?

I began to prepare dinner primarily at residence amongst my household. There was a mixture of every part, however when the time got here for my skilled training, I began attending the Catering and Tourism Faculty in Zagreb underneath the steerage of my professor Mladen Marušić.

3. You’ve been just lately named Head Chef at Noel, Zagreb’s first Michelin-star restaurant. What does this imply to you?

For me personally, the appointment as Noel’s head chef is successful and a pleasure.

The proof is that my ambitions, dedication, effort and dedication have yielded one thing proper, which is certainly what I anticipated from myself. Additionally, for me, it brings one other type to what I try for, it brings duty, care, and positively elevating my private requirements.

4. Inform us about your work at Noel Restaurant? What’s the idea and what was is the inspiration for this season’s menu?

My work at Noel is straightforward. In short, along with my sous Chef Antonio Obrovac and the remainder of the staff, I develop idealistic dishes primarily based on meals and approach.

The idea that’s behind the present seasonal menu relies completely on meals with a technical kick, all collectively guided by custom.

5. What’s the most well-liked merchandise on the menu?

The most well-liked menu merchandise is definitely the menu itself, but when I’ve to single one thing out, it could positively be štruklji and a dish of younger beans that definitely celebrates the season and the ingredient itself.

6. Inform us a bit about Croatian delicacies? What makes it particular and what are the highest Croatian dishes we completely must check out?

Croatian delicacies for me is a mix of various cultures. It thus reduces a whole lot of completely different pondering into one entire. It has its personal genius and significance, however on this planet of effective eating perhaps it’s a little much less represented.

Dishes that I might personally advocate are positively štrukli, fish stew, fish in salt, shrimp buzara, baked mussels, sardines savory, sarma, potato soup, and lots of extra.

7. What do you regard because the quintessential Croatian ingredient?

For me, the important thing Croatian ingredient is certainly onions.

8. What’s your favourite place to go to in Croatia?

My favorite locations in Croatia are definitely meals markets, butchers, and ports the place you could find an abundance of issues that I like essentially the most.

9. You’ve labored and educated at many various high eating places in Croatia, Austria, Montenegro, and London. How essential is worldwide expertise to a profitable culinary profession?

Worldwide expertise is critical not just for us from Croatia however for everybody across the globe. It is extremely tough to attain prime quality and change into aggressive out there in case you have not researched and realized learn how to perform in it. For me, this expertise led to what I’m now.

Chef Bruno Vokal

10. Are you able to share one or two belongings you’ve realized throughout your internships and dealing as a sous-chef alongside different high cooks?

Positively the issues I realized finest whereas working as a sous chef have been group, understanding, angle, empathy. Crucial factor is to know that you’re not working for your self however for the visitor, however the sooner you get to know your self, the higher you’ll carry out in all respects.

11. You might be considered top-of-the-line Croatian cooks. What units a high chef aside from the pack?

In my view, on the whole a high chef could also be distinguished from the remainder by their will and dedication, consistency, and want for progress, and in my private case I stand by the view that nobody might be the most effective, however we needs to be our selves, share our data with those that need to study and perceive, after which we’ll all at all times be higher off.

12. Do you’ve got a signature dish or a favourite dish that you simply get pleasure from cooking?

My signature dish will surely be the now deconstructed štrukli, and with that I might additionally single out a dish of white asparagus filled with eel, with asparagus spaghetti and wagyou Dutch sauce.

13. What’s the most effective meal you’ve ever had.

The very best meal I ate was positively dinner on the Alain Ducasse on the Dorchester restaurant (3 ***)

14. What recommendation would you give somebody who needs to change into a profitable chef?

My recommendation for a chef keen for achievement is to actually query themselves as to how a lot they need it, to indulge of their real love after which it should absolutely shine with full splendor by way of them.

Chef Bruno Vokal

15. Your finest piece of recommendation for novice cooks?

And for novice cooks I might say simply get pleasure from cooking.


Chef Bruno Vokal
Noel, Zagreb, Croatia
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