Hvar ‘Nonica’ at INTERSLAST in Umag

Very humbly and under the radar Hvar ‘Nonica’ is winning over the gourmet pallets. Not only the ones in Hvar but abroad as well. An absolute hit this year was pastry by Anne Marie Šurlin, owner and Chef Pastissier of the Hvar pastry shop Nonica.
When we heard that Mari participated on the first INTERNATIONAL Pastry Congress ‘’INTERSLAST’’ in Umag we asked from her to introduce herself in a few lines and tell the story of Nonica.
Here’s what she wrote:

My name is Anne Marie Šurlin (45) and I live and work in the town of Hvar. The idea of opening a shop where I would offer traditional pastry came to me while I was working as a tour guide. Talking to my guests about island delicacies I realized we don’t have an offer of the sort. That was how it all started… First I prequalified as a pastry chef in a gastronomy school in Split but the desire for extra knowledge took me to the London Le Cordon Bleu where after three years I acquired the Chef Patissier title. In that school I got an insight into the basics of French bakery and pastry making. It served as a foundation for my further development followed by hard work and ups and downs.

Initially I only wanted to offer traditional pastries to my guests but as I was developing as a pastry chef I decided to exhibit an entire array of beautiful recipes I either found or created myself.

It is still early to talk about success since I am just starting. My motto is making no compromises when it comes to the quality of my products. In either case, I believe that quality is the only way to accomplish something long term and I clearly chose the harder road ahead.

Speaking of the name ‘Nonica’ the entire project and the pastry shop itself was named after my great grandmother Domina Jurić, married Makjanić from Velo Grablje, married to Sveta Nedjelja on Hvar. Now my great grandmother is my logo and my protector.

A few days ago I returned from the first international congress of pastry makers ‘’INTERSLAST’’ which took place in Umag from 18th till 21st of October 2012.

The Congress was opened by Mr. Stjepan Odobašić (organizer from the ‘’Robinson’’ company), Zoran Stanisavljević (president of chefs from the Istarska prefecture) and Damir Crleni (president of the Croatian cooking alliance).

There were about a hundred local and foreign pastry makers, part of which competed in wedding cake making. The first revue for pastries, ice cream and candy making called ‘’DOLCE VITA’’ was also presented at the Congress.

Besides expert lectures there were various also various speakers such as mr.sc. Marina Hodak from the ‘’Ministry of entrepreneurs and small trades’’ with the topic of EU funds then Dean Pašiček with ‘’How to protect your product in the EU’’, followed by inspectors Danica Ladecki ‘’State inspectorate of Croatia’’ and Ružica Vazdar ‘’Health inspection of Croatian Ministry of Health’’.

Within the revue of authentic Croatian sweets I got an exceptional opportunity to present a minor part of the wide array of Hvar sweets. I held a lecture accompanied by a power point presentation entitled: ‘’Authentic Hvar sweets’’ where I introduced the participants of the Congress with eight sweets from Hvar: 1. Hvar/ Stari Grad paprenjok (gingerbread), 2. Hvar Medenjok, 3. Hvar Smokvenjok (gingerbread made out of figs) 4. Hvar Koloc (cake), 5. Brustuloni Menduli (sugared almonds), 6. Rafioli, 7. Bobići, 8. Hvar Cviti. This followed by a sampling on the ‘Nonica’ stand where I was promoting Hvar at the same time. Reactions were more than excellent.

I would like to finish with something I pointed out in my Umag speech presenting our Hvar sweets and something I have been constantly pointing out since the beginning of my ‘Nonica’ project which is that our island sweets are a part of us, our history and our rich heritage or in other words: ‘’…these are the sweets with a passionate and intoxicating smell, strengthened by a centennial heritage contained within!’’

(On this occasion I would like to thank the Croatian trade Chamber for their whole-hearted support and assistance as well as the Hvar Tourist Board which has provided the promotional material)

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