During his illustrious career, Italian chef Vincenzo Guarino has won numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including the ‘Oscar’ for gastronomy – three Michelin stars.
Aspira had the honour to have this first-rate chef as one of the numerous international lecturers in the first Gastronomy study programme in Croatia. On December 16, chef Guarino held a workshop during which he prepared traditional Mediterranean Christmas specialties together with Gastronomy students. The next day, University College Aspira organised a demonstration cook show in the cellars of Diocletian’s Palace, led by chef Guarino and his sous chef Giuseppe Romano, giving the public in Split a chance to enjoy all kinds of gastronomic delicacies. All guests had the opportunity to taste the presented specialties, which the chefs prepared right on the spot with the help of Aspira’s students. Everyone also received the recipes for the dishes they tasted so that they could try to prepare them by themselves, following the instructions of this world-renowned chef.
The event started with a welcome speech by the dean of University College Aspira, who pointed out how Split will soon be known not just for its tourism and history, but for the first Gastronomy study programme as well. Milivoj Jerkunica, Aspira’s director and founder, said that Aspira gathered an excellent team of professors and lecturers, and that work has started on constructing a culinary classroom that will feature the most modern equipment. He added that it was their wish to bring the spirit of the Mediterranean into cuisine and to nurture friendships with the students who are full of zeal and enthusiasm.
Chef Guarino said Split has great potential both in tourism and in gastronomy. He believes it is necessary to invest as much effort and funds as possible into the development and education of young persons in both of these sectors, and that Aspira’s Destination Management and Gastronomy study programmes greatly contribute to the development of what are today the two most important branches of industry in Croatia. Although he has travelled throughout the world and cooked in various interesting places, he said that preparing meals in a location as beautiful as Diocletian’s palace was a true honour for him.
He concluded by saying that his mission is to impart knowledge, which is why he never hides his recipes from his colleagues or students. He also pointed out the importance of practical classes, saying how ‘theory is very important and cooks have to know everything about each ingredient and the ways in which they are used, but practice is what makes someone a true chef’.
He told our students that it takes a lot of time and effort to become a great professional, but that they will get closer to that goal with each day if they work and study hard.