Bon Appetit's May issue is a theme issue entitled "Islands of the
Mediterranean - Delicious Food in Magical Settings." 22 islands are
featured, among them a small, little-known island (islet) of Osljak, located
across from the island of Ugljan. Unfortunately, the article is not posted
on the web.
The article states that Osljak is a mile and a half in length. The "round,
cypress-dotted pincushion in the Mediterranean is so small, in fact, that
New York banker and Osljak native David Valcic can loop it in minutes in his
gleaming speedboat." The story centers on the Valcic family which I would
guess dominates the population of the island. Five recipes are included in
the article: (i) prosciutto, cheese and condiment platter, (ii) grilled
whole fish with olive oil and garlic, (iii) cucumber and sour bean salad,
(iv) mixed bean and cabbage salad, and (v) swett lemon fritters (i.e.,
fritule). The story with photos totals four pages.
Kupite i pogledajte article i slike u novom broju tog renomiranogcasopisa, sto smo mi Valcici organiziralikao promociju Hrvatskog turizma.
These recipes are based on centuries of knowledge and experiments of Croatian grandmothers, with
sometimes primitive facilities and poor availability of fresh produce and ingredients, but with enthusiasm,
love for food, imagination and excellent taste. Today, we update their recipes by introducing modern
technology and much wider variety of fresh ingredients, but at no time has the food been changed in its
authenticity and taste.
Cuisine is a form of art, like sculpture, painting or music. Every housewife, in preparing food, will add her
own personal touch to accommodate the taste of her family. Every nation has its own national cuisine,
which reflects its people, character, geographical position, climate and fresh food availability.
Croatian culinary tradition is versatile and unique. Unfortunately until recently our chefs were more
inclined to introduce and experiment with cuisine from other countries, such as Italy, France and Greece.
Croatian cuisine was created under the influence of our neighbours, who were our masters for the last 900
years. Perhaps we should thank them for the richness of our cuisine today. Orientalflavor (Turkey and
Greece), Italian and Mediterranean flavor (Italy and France) and Northern continentalflavor (Austria and
Hungary) are evident in the cuisine. For centuries these flavors were blended by our grandmothers and
eventually became a part of Croatian traditional and national cuisine.
This book has been written in English for the purpose of showing the world that Croatians do have excellent
cuisine. This is important especially now, when we can finally proudly say that we have a Croatian nation.
As you will notice most of the recipes come from the parts of Croatia called Dalmatia, Slavonija and Istria,
for the simple reason that they are rich in variety and availability of the ingredients, especially lamb and
seafood. This does not mean that the continental part of Croatia is not represented with its fine cuisine.
Dennis B. Valcich was born on a small island of Osljak in the Adriatic in the Zadar Channel. He was
educated on the island up to the end of primary school. He went to high school in theneighboring town of
Preko on the island of Ugljan. He attended the Hospitality College in the ancient city of Dubrovnik for the
duration of three years. He worked in Dubrovnik in hotels such as Argentina and Jadran, in Zadar in Hotel
Zagreb, in the restaurants Zadar and Kornati and many others.
In 1966 he migrated to Sydney, Australia and worked at Hotel Australia, the Wentworth Hotel, the
Travelodge and many other restaurants.
Since publishing his first Croatian cookbook in English, Dennis together with his wife Mira, established and
promoted Croatian Food, Wine and Tourism Festival, the first of that kind in CroatianDiaspora. The festival
is in its sixth year, held for five days, in top hotels like Inter-continental across Australia and New Zealand.
Dennis has also appeared on numerous TV cooking shows in Australia and Croatia, as well as in all national
papers and magazines, and demonstrated Croatian cuisine at the cooking school.
Dennis is also personal chef for some of the biggest Croatian business families like, Jim Bosnjak-Westbus,
Roy Medich-Medich Enterprises, Ron & Tony Perich-Leppington Pastoral Co. Russel Buckley-Hume Doors,
Ray Begovich-Land Development, Australian Olympic Committy, Volvo-Australia and others.
Dennis has also introduced Croatian cuisine to Australia's top politicians like, Premier of N.S.W. Mr. Bob
Carr, former Prime Ministers Mr. Gough Whitlam and Paul Keeting, leader of opposition Mr. Kim Beazley
and Prime Minister Mr. John Howard, and number of other ministers.