A young chef from Maribor’s College of Hospitality and Tourism, Jure Dretnik, won the 2nd prize at the European Young Chef Award competition that took place in Rhodes, Greece. The Finale in the Greek island gathered finalists between 18 to 26 years old, coming from divere European gastronomic regions like Catalonia, Minha (Portugal), Aarhus (Denmark), North Brabante (Netherlands), Sibiua (Romania), Coimbre (Portugal), Menorca (Spain), and Slovenia.
College of Hospitality and Tourism Maribor (VSGT Maribor), located in the second largest Slovenian city, is annually responsible for the education and evaluation of events within the project, including the Slovenian pre-competition. Slovenia successfully participated in the competitions already in 2016, 2017, and 2018 when its representatives ranked in top places. This year, Jure Dretnik, a 21-years old student from VSGT Maribor, was chosen as the best individual among Slovenian young chefs in the pre-competition and rightly so, as he then in the Finale, under mentorship of Mojca Polak from VSGT Maribor, won the 2nd prize, the highest award for Slovenia in the competition so far.
Jure Dretnik’s dish was called Lunch of Mowers and was his take on the traditional dish from Slovene Carinthia in northern Slovenia made of regional ingredients (that he took to Greece in a cooling bag), with the main part being dried pears. His award is not only a shining proof of his young talent, but also a proof of the quality of the College of Hospitality and Tourism Maribor which every year launches into the world new talents, highly trained and knowledgable in culinary creativity and hospitality professionalism. To give on one side to its students the experience of the restaurant work and, on the other, to the interested public the taste of skills of its creative and professional students, the VSGT Maribor runs in Maribor’s city centre Restaurant 7.
Restaurant 7 (Sedem/Seven) is the only school restaurant in Slovenia with an innovative business model where students perofrm all professional jobs independently, yet under supervision of a mentor. Restaurant Sedem/Seven enables students to practice theory in a real working environment, they get trained in preparation of food and beverages, familiarize themselves with ingredients, prepare and compose all types of dishes, practice skills of welcoming and serving guests, organise work, think about innovative approaches, etc. The vigilent eyes of mentors make them develop new skills and obtain new knowledge, so the moment they leave school with their diploma, they are much more confident and ready for new challenges …
The 2nd prize at the European Young Chef Award competition, organised and promoted by the Barcelona-based International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) in collaboration with culinary arts institutions in the Regions of Gastronomy, proves that VSGT Maribor and Restaurant 7 are achieving their set goals and are a launching platform of Slovene chefs of the future. Thus, the VSGT Maribor and its Restaurant 7 are also representing an important part of the congress tourism in Maribor as the business and congress guests like to taste the new trends that the young and creative talents at the restaurant prepare.