Donal Skehan visits Croatia!

By: GastroLada

Donal Skehan, Food Network celebrity chef, recently visited Istria on his travels. He is currently shooting the second season of his travelogue series Follow Donal through which viewers are acquainted with the culinary delights of the places he visits. This time Donal goes Europe and his destinations include Budapest, Krakow, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Istanbul, San Sebastian, Stockholm, Puglia in Italy and... Istria!

His host in Istria was our very own Goran Zgrablić, one of the founders of Taste of Croatia website, and the owner of EatIstria project. Goran introduced Goran to David Skoko, famous croatian chef and fisherman. Together they went fishing and afterwards prepared the seafood they caught. Since Istria is famous for truffles, Goran took him truffle hunting with Daniela Puh from Natura Tartufi. They also met Marina Gaši, one of the most interesting and innovative (female) chefs in Croatia. Istrian malvazija is a local wine variety not to be missed, so Goran and Donal somwehow made it through a tasting of many samples made by top istrian winemakers. 

Malvazija - from grape to aceto balsamico

Finally, Goran took him to his olive grove near Medulin where he taught him how to make a very typical Istrian dish - žgvacet, a stew made of chicken anad vegetables (recipe here). Making homemade pasta, istrian fuži took a while, so the shooting ended in the final hours of a warm istrian sunset, under the olive trees. It was great fun spending those few days with Donal, and the atmosphere culminated with singing old Croatian Eurovision songs while rolling the fuži. Don't ask :)

Intense cooking action in the olive grove
It takes a whole family to make a bunch of fuži pasta

Viewers around the world will be able to experience the beauty and rich flavors of Istria on the Food Network early next year. In addition to the Food Network show, Donal is active on his culinary blog and youtube channel where many of his great recipes can be found.

Truffle hunting in the woods of Istria
Pula oldtimer ride 

Photos by: Food Network (SNI), Goran Zgrablić