TOP 2018

Have you ever wondered just who the top influencers in the New Europe Meetings Industry might be? As the industry rapidly evolves, it is clear some key influencers actually have the same reach and draw as big companies, so individuals matter in a way that has never been possible before.

This time the Editorial Board of Kongres Magazine has assessed more than 110 influencers in New Europe after reviewing highlights from the meetings industry in 2018 and has based its assessment on several key criteria, such as:

  • Achievement of the best financial and other multiplier effects of the meetings industry in 2018, significantly deviating from the average;
  • Implementation of the most demanding improvements and innovations in their field, which also includes successfully implemented projects that have defined 2018;
  • Help in enhancing the reputation and profile of the meetings industry in 2018;
  • Innovations that facilitate the work of meetings organisers, or have in their own way steered the future direction of the industry.

Based on the 730 individually completed surveys, Kongres Magazine has analysed and shortlisted the TOP 60 most influential people. They have all contributed to the development of the region and our readers have chosen the best of the best. We have also added 2 newcomers in each category, voted by our readers.

The candidates have been divided into 6 categories, here's the sixth one


Ana ROŠ,
Chef at Hiša Franko (SI)
A co-owner of the family-owned restaurant Hiša Franko (ranking No. 50 in the world, according to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants organisation) located in a small Slovenian town by the Italian border. Besides cooking her greatest pleasure is world travel. Her delicious dishes are full of intense flavours, lovely colours and unusual combinations. She was named the World’s Best Female Chef 2017 by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards and was the first woman to join the exclusive Cook It Raw chefs’ community.

Managing Director at Jezersek Catering (SI)
Martin Jezeršek, the youngest son of the renowned Jezeršek family, has been successfully managing the family business with over 35 years of tradition and experience in the field of HORECA, for the last five years. After a graduation at the best hospitality and hotel management school in the world, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, he returned home to take over the family business. He has internationalised the company through the brand Sora Catering and passed the test with flying colours, taking up the family business management, with a desire to become the leading catering provider in South-Eastern Europe and to rank among the top 10 organizers and catering services providers in the European Union. Due to Martin’s contribution, Jezeršek catering today is the leading company in the field of catering on the Slovenian market.

dada, jerovšek

Director at Kaval Group (SI)
Dada Jerovšek is an architect turned entrepreneur who heads up The Kaval Group, a collection of 19 bars, fine dining restaurants, casual cafes and, of course, Lolita, the best ice-cream in the world (according to #worldICECREAMindex). The Kaval Group is made up of hospitality experiences that are undeniably Slovenian, yet comparable with any contemporary trend from New York or London.

CEO at Sharkam VIP Catering (SK)
Sharkam catering was established in 1998 and belongs to one of the European leaders in catering. They are mostly proud of having built the business from scratch on solely Slovak capital and through years of testing know-how. The majority of their business is in event catering, although they are also one of a very few caterers in Europe to specialize in protocol catering. Their marketing policy is built on offering a first class service and quality and which additionally guarantees a sufficient quantity of food and beverages.

Owner and Chef at JB Restavracija (SI)
World-renowned chef Janez Bratovž has always been defined by his strong desire to find perfection. His culinary creations are bold and original, and you can savour the tastes of exquisite plates and let yourself be entranced by a completely new culinary experience. JB’s dishes are from completely fresh ingredients straight from Ljubljana’s farmers’ market. You will be charmed by their presentation and primal taste, especially so by the unforgettably unique combination of the Mediterranean, French and nostalgic Slovene cuisines.


Director at Vivo Catering (SI)
At the 20th anniversary she earned her ranking through the socially responsible co-operative project of setting the Month of Design in the abandoned factory premises of Mladinska knjiga. The revival of this place has created a completely new event space in Ljubljana with an unimagined development potential. Visitors to the event were excited about the look of the premises; this is a completely new dimension of socially responsible conference tourism.

Sanjiv SURI,
President & CEO at Zátiší group (CZ)
Since 1991, founder of the Zátiší Group, currently operating four restaurants in Prague: V Zátiší, Bellevue, Mlýnec, Žofín Garden & Zátiší Catering, exclusive caterer to Žofín Palace, general caterer for Prague Congress Centre and exclusive caterer 2012 – 2013 to VIP Village Moto GP and Fresh & Tasty divisions. He earlier worked as General Manager, Food – Beverage Manager & Kitchen Coordinator at various hotel chains in France, India, Egypt and western Africa. He is a member of the UNICEF Supervisory Board, Head of the Board of Directors of the Prague Convention Bureau, member of the Young Presidents Organisation worldwide, and Vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce Supervisory Board.


Owner at Catering FAVORY (HR)
Tamara Tuđman Šuk is the owner of the Favory – Catering & Banqueting which has been with its uninterrupted operation of 28 years the oldest Croatian catering business. Its corporate and private club are of a unique character in Croatia and make, thus, for a really special service agency when it comes to MICE needs not only in Croatia but also in other parts of Europe. Certainly Tamara Tuđman Šuk is one of the catering pioneers in the region that still sets the trends today.

Thomas GRUBER,
Chef at in Schlossstern Restaurant (AT)
The main characteristic of the “Gasthaus von Thomas Gruber« at the lake Wörthersee is the regional cuisine, where different cultures and genuine dishes from Slovenia, Italy and Carinthia meet. Eating and drinking together becomes the indispensable experience factor. Thomas Gruber is not following the culinary mainstream, so instead of great gourmet menus, you will find dishes with heart and mind. He was gaining knowledge and experience for many years in the most prestigious restaurants and hotels in the States, France, Italy and Austria. In 2013, he opened his own restaurant “Gasthaus von Thomas Gruber”.

Chef at Zemono (SI)
Tomaž Kavčič, or ‘Tomi’, is not just a chef – he is much more than that. He is an artist who creates beautiful, delicious and accomplished dishes to be found in his restaurant Pri Lojzetu in the beautiful, baroque Zemono Manor located near Ajdovščina. He is also a culinary star, although he has not (yet) been awarded any Michelin stars, who has added Slovenia to the culinary map of the world.

Newcomers in 2018, voted by readers


Mastermind at Motto Catering Vienna (AT)
The Styrian native ranks amongst the top restaurateurs in Austria. Bernd Schlacher started out at 20 years of age as a waiter at Restaurant, before he took over the Motto in the 5th district in 1991 and turned it back into a cult pub. In addition to the Motto Catering based in the Austria Center Vienna, the Motto Group also includes Motto am Fluss (which forms the heart of his pub family) and the Café Restaurant Halle in the MuseumsQuartier.


CEO and Chef at Frederik’s Vienna (AT)
“Stay in the kitchen” is the motto that Frederik Mayringer, the CEO and Chef at Frederik’s, is adhering to at all times. His dedication to investing time and patience in new culinary creations along business plans is seen in the work that the Frederik’s team does with catering magic that particularly shines through the Frederik’s gardening decoration concept and its edible flowers.