Italian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Nicola Minasi prefers a healthy diet, which includes lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, lentils, beans, but for his predecessor, Ruggero Corrias, this was not quite applicable. Sarajevan Adnan Hamzić, a personal chef of Italian Ambassadors in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2009, revealed all this to us.
– Ruggero used to enjoy the red meat, he was simply delighted with our veal. I remember one occasion when I was preparing calf head. At first he crossed himself, but when he it was made, he began to “chop” it with his fingers. Since then, this had to be on the menu at least once a month. When he went to Rome, he said that this would remain something most delicious he ate here, said Adnan, whom we found in his recently opened catering facility, “Noa Laboratorija Hrane”, where together with a small, but select team of professionals he is preparing delicious catering snacks.
To continually learn
Hamzić decided to go culinary in 1988 when he enrolled in the Catering school in Sarajevo. Since 1996, he has been continuously behind the stove, because as he says, he enjoys it and could not imagine himself doing anything else. In order to follow new trends in food preparation, he worked for some time in America and Norway, where he was learning, getting to know new people, their cultures …
Culinary is such a craft, he says, that you cannot be in one place, because it quickly becomes a routine, and you become boring. You must constantly learn, discover something new, and sometimes even leave some good workplace, in order to move on, experience a challenge.
He got a culinary experience working for SFOR, as well as in many Sarajevan restaurants. He reveals to us that in the last ten years, he usually accepts invitations from restaurants that are just opening, because, as he explained to us, it is difficult for new owners to find chefs who are going to cook good for a normal salary, in order to attract guests with what is on the plate.
He is particularly proud to work continuously as a personal chef of the Italian Ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2009, and so far, he says, has “changed” three of them.
– The first ambassador I worked for was from Rome and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, he was alone with his wife. The other one was the complete opposite of the previous one, much younger, with his wife and three children, and after him came Nicola Minasi from Naples, who is almost constantly in Sarajevo. He loves healthy cousine, a lot of fish. Usually everyone thinks when you work for an Italian ambassador that you cook only spaghetti and bake pizza on a daily basis. However, I make everythng except spaghetti and pizza. Ambassador Minasi loves to eat food from the sea. Fortunately, in Sarajevo there are two or three good fisheries that regularly purchase fresh seafood, so I have no problem with the purchase. Eggs, fruits and vegetables are bought from ecological farming by producers from around Sarajevo – he says.
He brags with an excellent communication with Ambassador. He points out that it is his pleasure to work for such a person. A bit more challenging to him are the official dinners hosted by the Ambassador when he invites diplomats and businessmen from all over Europe.
– Then everything needs to be flawless, from the taste of the food, to the way it looks on the plate. But I can boast that I have not received criticism so far in such events – Hamzić said.
There are many praises and positive reviews that Adnan received in his long-time work from many well-known and recognized people for whom he had the opportunity to cook. Some he proudly remembers, and one of them is when he cooked for the highest delegation of Fiat.
– After dinner ended, one of the owners of the corporation came to the kitchen with a sentence: “I have not eaten something that good in a long time.” I remember, then I prepared homemade ravioli, fish and cake with almonds, honey, and chocolate. I think that is the moment that every chef desires – says Hamzić.
Since 2007, he has been engaged in catering, and everything has started from birthday parties and various anniversaries of friends. With his team he prepares food for various occasions, from weddings, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, VIP parties …
– Various kinds of canapés, meals with vegetables, fish, and meat are on the menu … When it comes to sweets, my cakes, on whose recipes I worked for a long time, are very popular. For their preparation, I use the highest quality ingredients such as chicken eggs from domestic eco-farming or quail eggs, exclusively butter never margarine and chocolate containing 70 or 80 percent cocoa, and hazelnuts and walnuts. For those who are sensitive to gluten, there are also cakes without flour, Hamzić says.