Chef Sam Diminich Back to Roots Slovenia & Croatia Tour

Slovenia and Croatia

Chef Richard Gruica
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2 reviews
Apr 16 - 23, 2023
Group size: 1 - 17
Chef Sam Diminich Back to Roots Slovenia & Croatia Tour
Slovenia and Croatia

Chef Richard Gruica
  • Email address verified
  • Twitter verified
2 reviews

$NaN
Apr 16 - 23, 2023
Group size: 1 - 17

About this trip

 

The Chef Sam Diminich…Back to Roots Food and Wine Tour of Slovenia & Istria, Croatia 

April 16th to April 23rd, 2023  


Chef Richard Gruica and Captivating Croatia Tours cordially invite you to join us and our Chef-Host, the acclaimed Chef Sam Diminch and escape with us to exotic Slovenia and Croatia for a week-long, food-centric vacation of a lifetime. Come, and experience the ultimate culinary adventure which will take place from Sunday, April 16th to Sunday, April 23rd, 2022. Get ready to explore some of the most beautiful places in the world, as we visit the raw beauty of Slovenia and explore Istria, Croatia’s Tuscany. We will visit these regions' most storied areas, which are brimming with history and lore while enjoying the very best food, drink, and sights alongside Chef Sam on what we are calling the Back to roots Tour as Chef Sam's family hails from the area. Experience a luxury holiday unlike any other in the style you deserve.    


Day 1: Sun, April 16th 

Tour Beginnings-Pick up and transit to Slovenia-Top of the Top 

The Chef Sam Diminich Back to Roots Food and Wine Tour of Slovenia/Istria Tour begins in our arrival city of Venice, Italy where a luxury van will gather all guests to begin our journey to Slovenia.  Along the way, we will build up our appetites before stopping for lunch in Slovenia’s famed wine country for a gourmet meal full of local delicacies and try the world-renowned natural/orange wines of the region with amazing views of the vineyards from the scenic terrace. After lunch, we will experience scenery that is truly majestic to behold as we make our way through the mountains until we join renowned Chef Ana Ros (check out her Chef’s Table episode on Netflix https://www.netflix.com/watch/80075153 ) and her sommelier/cheesemaker husband Valter at their boutique country inn, which has been voted one of the best in the world where we will be staying the next two nights. Once settled in, we will sit down to enjoy the degustation menu dinner at their two Michelin starred place called Hiša Franko, which at present, is the 34th best restaurant in the world.  

Overnight-Hisa Franko-4 Star- https://www.hisafranko.com/en/rooms 


Please note, that all guests should arrive in Venice, Italy within their own timeframe with the tour beginning on Sunday, April 16thth. We will have an estimated 11 am departure time at a location TBA.  Please make sure to arrive no later than Saturday, April 15th in order to make sure we all leave together promptly on the 16th. Those guests that are not present upon our intended departure time will have to make their own arrangements to arrive at our first hotel stay in Slovenia. We will return all guests to our central return spot and guests will be responsible for transportation to their accommodations from that point moving forward. 

Day 2: Mon, April 17th 

One with Nature 


After a relaxing morning savoring the amazing Hiša Franko breakfast, we head out for a day relishing the natural beauty of the Kobarid area and get one with nature and take in the Soča Valley, which has been voted one of the best natural areas in the world. We will spend an amazing day in the pristine nature that this area is known for by getting one with nature and also the history of the area, of course with some wonderful food and wine thrown into the mix. We end the day with a lovely rustic meal at the Brewery/Restaurant of Valter Kramer, the co-owner of Hisa Franko before heading back to Hiša Franko.  

Overnight-Hisa Franko-4 Star- https://www.hisafranko.com/en/rooms 


Day 3: Tues, April 18th  

A Day Fit for a King or Queen ;-) 

To Bled and the Magical Lake 

After an amazing gourmet breakfast, today’s journey begins with a most scenic drive to Bled, a resort town in the foothills of the Julian Alps. We will visit Lake Bled by boat and an island housing the Church of Mary the Queen, which is Slovenia’s most photographed location. Afterward, as a special treat, we will participate in a hands-on cooking class to learn about “potica,” Slovenia’s most famous pastry. We will have a late lunch at the 1 Michelin Star Brunarica Gric with the ever-so-talented Luka Kosir. After, we will make our way to the ancient city of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, which dates back to the 12th century. Once in the city and checked into our 4-star hotel, we will regroup and take part in a walking tour of the city before you have the night to enjoy as you wish.   

Check-Out 

Overnight Stay-Grand Union Hotel-4 Star- https://www.uhcollection.si/grand-hotel-union 


Day 4: Wed, April 19th 

What is Old, is New Again...One in a Million 

Today, we will leave lovely Slovenia and make our way to Croatia, but before we do, we will make a couple of stops along the way, first, we will visit Slovenia’s most famous natural and historic site, the Postojna Caves for a train ride and gentle walking tour of their caves. The other is a visit to the area of Chef Sam’s family to see where his lineage came from. Before we cross over the border into Croatia and make our way to Rovinj, one of Croatia's most picturesque towns and our home for the remainder of the tour we will take part in a very unique happening. We will learn how to craft our own “One in A Million Gin”.  After our workshop and while our gin is being distilled, we will take a short walk to a Michelin-recommended spot for a meal featuring local specialties with a gourmet twist. We will check in to our amazing 5-star hotel and re-group for a leisurely stroll to the town of Rovinj for a casual dinner. 

Check-Out  

Overnight Stay-Hotel Lone-5 Star- https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj 


Day 5: Thurs, April 20th 

Oil and Wine Sure Make for a Great Time 

Today begins with a visit to Vodnjan, a town known mostly for two things, one as the home of the top Croatian olive oil producers (FYI, Istria has won best olive oil region in the world for the past five years) and for its street art, with the city hosting a festival yearly to highlight the artwork. We will visit Croatia’s number one oil producer, hear their amazing story, and try their wares. Then, we have arranged for a private walking tour of Pula including the famed Roman Arena, which is the most preserved in the world. Afterward, we will visit one of the top winemakers in Croatia, who is known as the “Bad Boy” of Croatian wine producers for a private tour of his winery and tasting of his award-winning wines. Our day in Pula finishes up with dinner at Croatia’s most famous chef, Chef David Skoko, and his family's Michelin-recommended restaurant Batelina for a seafood meal unlike any other. (Check out Bourdain’s Croatian episode to find out more about Chef David https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j03qhsE7UcI ).  

Overnight Stay-Hotel Lone-5 Star- https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj 


Day 6: Friday, April 21st 

Chillin’ and Cheese 

Today is going to be a chill and relaxing day as we all need some downtime, so sleep in, and schedule a visit to the spa/wellness center. The better part of the day is yours to do as you wish.  The day is capped off in fine style as we head to our favorite goat cheese farmers, whose farm dates back to the 14th century and whose goats graze on close to 200 types of plants and herbs, which produce some of the most astounding cheeses. We will visit the production area and see how they are made before sitting down for a meal on the farm. 

Overnight Stay-Hotel Lone-5 Star- https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj 


Day 7: Sat, April 22nd 

The Long and Winding Road to Truffle Paradise 

Our day starts with a scenic drive to Truffle Country!!! We will stop for a photo op of Motovun, Croatia’s most scenic hilltop town before visiting one of the cutest distilleries ever and enjoying a tour and tasting their liquid libations as well as jams and jellies. Afterward, we take a super short ride until we arrive at Prodan Tartufi, where will have the cool opportunity to embark on a truffle hunt led by a local expert guide and their incredible dogs – who knows what we will find! After our trek through the trees, our reward will be a truffle tasting to enjoy the rich treasures found in the area, as well as a dish capped off in fine style by Chef Sam.  

Overnight Stay-Hotel Lone-5 Star- https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj 


Day 8: Sun, April 23rd 

All Good Things Come to an End...Back to Roots 

Today we check out from our amazing hotel and pay a visit Eataly, a shrine for all things Italian in Trieste, which also happens to be the ancestral home of Chef Sam’s family. We will hear more about his family story over coffee after you do some shopping.  Thank you for joining Chef Sam and me on our Back to Roots - Slovenia and Croatia Tour. It was an honor and my pleasure to host you. I hope you have a newfound appreciation for these countries and that you come back again, either on your own or on another one of my tours. Whatever the case may be, I wish you the very best and look forward to our next encounter.  Safe travels. 


Please note, that all guests should arrive in Venice, Italy within their own timeframe with the tour beginning on Sunday, April 16thth. We will have an estimated 10:30 am departure time at a location TBA.  Please make sure to arrive no later than Saturday, April 15th in order to make sure we all leave together promptly on the 16th. Those guests that are not present upon our intended departure time will have to make their own arrangements to arrive at our first hotel stay in Slovenia. We will return all guests to our central return spot and guests will be responsible for transportation to their accommodations from that point moving forward.  


As with any trip of this nature, we are at the discretion of Mother Nature and the schedule might change based on weather or other variables outside of our control. Captivating Croatia strives to give all guests the best possible experience, so rest assured that even if things happen you are in very capable hands. Accommodations are subject to change without notice.  

I look forward to hosting you alongside Chef Sam. 

Culinarily yours, 

Chef Richard Gruica 



What’s included

  • Chef Time
    The chance to eat, drink, explore, experience, interact and learn alongside Chef Sam personally throughout the trip.
  • 7 Night's Accommodation
    Luxury accommodation 4 stars or higher
  • All Excursions
    Including food, tastings & classes
  • All Transportation
    All transportation after pick-up in Venice is included
  • Meals
    All Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners-Including one 1 star and one 2 star and other Michelin recommended stops!
  • Private Guide
    Your guide (Chef Richard Gruica) is Croatian-American and also a chef!
  • Airfare
    Airfare is not included
  • Travel Insurance
    This is very STRONGLY recommended
  • Extra Tips/Gratuities
    Any extra you wish to tip on your own
  • Extra Food/Drink
    Any other food/drink not provided on the tour
  • Private Water Taxi
    Private Water Taxi

Available options

Itinerary

Day 1
Tour Beginnings-Pick up and transit to Slovenia-Top of the Top

Day 1: Sun, April 16th 

Tour Beginnings-Pick up and transit to Slovenia 

Top of the Top 

The Chef Sam Diminich Back to Roots Food and Wine Tour of Slovenia/Istria Tour begins in our arrival city of Venice, Italy where a luxury van will gather all guests to begin our journey to Slovenia.  Along the way, we will build up our appetites before stopping for lunch in Slovenia’s famed wine country for a gourmet meal full of local delicacies and try the world-renowned natural/orange wines of the region with amazing views of the vineyards from the scenic terrace. After lunch, we will experience scenery that is truly majestic to behold as we make our way through the mountains until we join renowned Chef Ana Ros (check out her Chef’s Table episode on Netflix https://www.netflix.com/watch/80075153 ) and her sommelier/cheesemaker husband Valter at their boutique country inn, which has been voted one of the best in the world where we will be staying the next two nights. Once settled in, we will sit down to enjoy the degustation menu dinner at their two Michelin starred place called Hiša Franko, which at present, is the 34th best restaurant in the world.  

Overnight-Hisa Franko-4 Star- https://www.hisafranko.com/en/rooms 

Your Organizer


CR
Chef Richard Gruica
2 reviews
From an early age, Chef Richard Gruica saw how food and drink could unite people, regardless of their backgrounds, making everyone happy. With his passion for gastronomy, he decided to create the most incredible of edible journeys. Through extensive research, he presents some of the finest examples of tradition, craft and small producers from across the globe to the guests of his tours. More significantly, guests get to meet and enjoy the people that have a true passion for what they do. Forget ordinary, experience extraordinary!

Reviews

Well planned out with great facilities and restaurants. Chef Richard is well versed on the Croatian wines, which were excellent; as well as his relationship with restaurants we visited. The tour guides were super-efficient and loads of fun. The truffle hunting in the woods with the dogs and the pasta there was a unique experience. Thank you Richard for working in out and making smooth transitions when needed. See you in Greenville!
By Bill M for Chef Michael Kramer Coastal Croatia Tour on 19 Jul, 2022
An awesome trip! Chef Richard was the consummate travel guide! Loved the tours of cheese factory, salt museum & truffle hunting. Really enjoyed the free time to tour Trogir. Thank you Chef Kramer for hosting this wonderful trip! I highly recommend this trip to Croatia.
By Susan F for Chef Michael Kramer Coastal Croatia Tour on 19 Jul, 2022