A chef since… Ever and forever • Creator of several cooking books • Croatian native living in Croatia but also cooking/working abroad • In Dunja’s words: ‘All in all, there’s always something simmering, be it on the stove or in my head!’ • Native Croatian from Istria, living in Zagreb
I always loved food. Over time, this love turned into my biggest passion; food and all in connection with food had to become more than just a hobby.
I feel so lucky to do what I love doing the most in this world: to work with food. To write about food, shop for food, grow food, prepare food, serve food and feed people around me with healthy & delicious meals prepared with the highest quality ingredients available. Approaching food with this kind of love and passion never fails to inspire. Feeding people feeds my soul.
The antique kitchens of my Istrian nonnas, my parents, aunts, neighbors and family friends were a perfect setting for my first culinary experiences. Seasonal gatherings of wild mushrooms, rosehip, wild radicchio, chestnuts, wild asparagus, fennel, blackberries, mussels, etc., and their preparation was a very insightful way of learning about food and cooking.
Living in London and being exposed to the western highly processed foods encouraged me turn to healthy and natural foods.
Being exposed to dorm foods, while studying, encouraged me to dig even deeper into the world of organic and whole foods.
I attended the Natural Cooking School at Makronova Institute and soon after started creating cooking programs, organizing workshops as well as working as a chef for groups on retreats in Croatia and abroad.
I’ve been working with chefs and cookbook authors from around the globe and held cooking workshops at festivals in England and the States. During my travels I’ve been collecting knowledge on many different diets and cooking styles; Mediterranean, vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic and raw food and managed to combine these approaches into my own recognizable cooking
2009. My first cookbook Dorucak is published.
2010. I attended two important conferences on healthy foods:
46.Nobel Conference ‘Making Food Good’ @ Gustavus Adolphus College and
Healthy Foods Summit ‘Food For Thought’ @University of Minnesota
2011. The birth of Rentaj Chefa – a project that enables people to eat freshly cooked high-quality meals and share them with family and friends in the comfort of their own home. Services also include preparing healthy & delicious party food, individualized cooking classes, detox programs, cooking for groups, and much more.
2012. my second cookbook Raw Food Kitchen was published.
2013. my third cookbook The Vegan Baker was published.
2014. my fourth cookbook The Vegan Pantry came out! It’s a cookbook in which I share my favourite recipes for wholesome daily meals but I also included many tips & tricks to help you out on your cooking journey! The recipes are a fusion of vegan, macrobiotic and raw food preparation styles and I like to think of them as my “best of the best”.
This cookbook has been a huge success and has been nominated for the Guild of Food Writers 2015 Award in the category of Miriam Polunin Award for healthy Eating!
In 2014. The Vegan Baker was also translated to two other European languages:
2015. is the year of publication of yet another interesting cookbook, Fermented Foods for Vitality & Health wich will help you to boost your digestive and immune system, offering over 60 delicious recipes for basic fermenting methods, breakfast, lunch, dinner, salads, snacks, breads and probiotic drinks!
2015. is a very lucky year for The Vegan Pantry since it has been translated to six other languages: German, Italian, French, Portuguese (Brasil), Swedish and Polish!
Vegan & Lecker
Från veganens skafferi
Mes bonnes recettes vegan
A couple more cookbooks are in different stages of creation and are patiently waiting for their turn.
All in all, there’s always something simmering, be it on the stove or in my head!