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Dubrovnik’s food standard is elevated by French chef Thierry Caruel

Dubrovnik’s food standard is elevated by French chef Thierry Caruel

The food standard at the Argentina in Dubrovnik is excellent, and the head of the kitchen surely plays a big part in this. Since his arrival in Dubrovnik, dishes have a distinct French / Mediterranean flair and look more stylish than ever.
We are receiving such good feedback from wedding couples who enjoyed his cooking.
A dish prepared by Chef Thierry for the purpose of the interview…. need we say more?

Interview with a French chef at the Grand Villa Argentina

What makes a French chef come to Dubrovnik?

– I am originally from Paris, France. I came here 3 seasons ago with my family also because my wife is from here.

How do you like Dubrovnik?

– Well I really like it. I like the sea, the Adriatic Sea is beautiful, I like the Mediterranean food as well and I like the atmosphere of holiday. I moved over here from England where life is very different.

The best places you have been working for are?

– The best place I have been working for is Harrods’sof London.  I was the chef of delicatessen & I was the private chef for Mr. Al Fayed for 4 years. I also was working for the Four Seasons in Park Lane, & I was in charge of The European Bank for 3 years so I was cooking for various Presidents of Europe. I had a really good time at all these places.

Which is your signature dish?

– I like to cook lamb, especially a rack of lamb, cooked in a Mediterranean way  with fondant potatoes and garlic confit. What I try to do is I mix French cuisine with Croatian.

Which would you define your best culinary experience?

– All my life I have cooked for really special people, before I came to Dubrovnik I was in Buckingham Palace. One of the chefs, a friend of mine, organized the wedding for Prince William, so I was involved in that for 3 months. In France I cooked also for big companies in Paris & for Roland Garros and the Cannes Film Festival but the best job was still at Harrods’s.
I was meeting lots of stars all the time including for example Michael Jackson, it was very interesting.

 Would you believe this dish tasted even better than it looks?

What kind of menu would you recommend to a foreign couple who comes here to get married?

– It depends on them, on what they like. I would talk to them and we’d discuss what they like and what their family likes, if they like fish, beef or mushrooms  and I would design a menu for them.
The best is to meet with them and talk about what they like.
Guests from abroad are very surprised by the food we do now. What we do here is something you cannot find in town, very very different. We try to surprise the customers, we do some spicy food as well, we do a lot of Californian food, which does very well. I did a lot of recipes where guests were surprised when I did the menu tasting … I wanted to see if the menu compositions worked or not.

When did you know what you wanted to do as a grown up man?

– I knew very early.  In my family there are many chefs, not really chefs but they like to cook all the time. I knew already when I was 14: I did an internship in the kitchen as a young boy and made my choice there and then. I like to speak to my customers. I really enjoy to be a chef, I am very proud of it and I know this is the job of my life. I really enjoy it so much.  I like to cook Sushi, Indian, French food, Italian food… all international cuisines!
profiterole wedding cake Fabulous profiterole pyramid wedding cake
Chef Thierry Caruel and Groom Jonathon Hawthorne
“Delicious food”, comments by groom Jonathon Hawthorne
These past 4 years I have been working at Victoria, part of the Villa Orsula (Grand Villa Argentina) which now is very busy, we receive a lot of international and important clientele.
The family Luksic (the owners of the hotel) are very nice, they care a lot about me as well, they are a wonderful family and I really enjoy working with them. I know the whole family quite well.

Villa Orsula in Dubrovnik

I want to spend a few words about this special place I work at… the garden of Victoria with the view on the old town is just unique. I think to work in this place is a little bit of privilege, to come here every day, the sunshine.. it makes me very happy.
Villa Orsula in Dubrovnik, Croatia Dubrovnik Riviera Weddings


Note to self: I was deeply impressed by the way chef Thierry talks about food and about his job. He does it with his very heart and I hope this message is somehow coming out of the article. Afterwards, he took me to the kitchen of the Victoria. He has very young staff but they are very capable and they do know that working with chef Thierry is an opportunity for them. 

He explained to me how he studies and does tests with food. He made me try a truffle sauce that was MAGNIFICENT!!!!  He also explained how he mixed the cured duck with foie gras and offered me a slice of it. I do not know if you have ever tried it…  I do not like duck or foie gras at all so I only tried it to be polite, it was sooooooooooooo good tasting!!! It was pretty amazing.

Thank you chef Thierry!

The Dubrovnik Weddings-Team.

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