In a country with 3.8 million soccer, handball and other players, it is well known that the combination of youth and experience is always a winning combination. Thus, for 40 years, the Baltazar team has been led by the world’s longest-serving selector, the legendary Bobo Čimbur, from table number 19 with a firm hand and a ringing voice, a hospitality legend whose charisma is woven deep into the foundations of Baltazar. From the very beginning, Boba was accompanied by his and our lady, Mirjana, who, with her love and talent for interior and exterior decoration, made Baltazar and its enchanting garden a place where many people gladly come and reluctantly leave.
Next to them is the executive director Tamara, who manages the operational and administrative business of the restaurant in the broadest sense; from communication with suppliers to designing menus for our guests, both business and private. In the last few months, Tamara has been performing her work tasks even more successfully thanks to the help of her little son Ivan, who provides her daily office support. Spiritius movens Baltazara is our creative director Igor, a man of inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm who, apart from constantly thinking about innovations in hospitality, loves humanitarian work, cheerful colors of clothes and AC Milan the most.
The manager of the restaurant for 20 years is the first mustache of Ferenčica, Milan Martinko, better known as Micek. The hospitality legend of Zagreb has probably performed more weddings in his career than any Zagreb registrar, he doesn’t use his days off, and he loves Dinamo most of all. We continue the series of icons with Ilija Lovrić, who with more than 30 years of experience in the number of appearances in the Baltazar jersey is right behind Bobi.
Ilija is the good spirit of our restaurant, which a good number of guests hug and kiss when they arrive at Baltazar, and the fact that the famous Sarajevo writer Miljenko Jergović mentioned him in one of his works speaks volumes for his significance. Miroslav Puljek, better known as Kumica in his Dubrava, is probably the only man in the world who has a fear of deep water, and who can distinguish between a friar, a pizzeria, a sardine and a spar at a distance of a kilometer. Mirek has only been in Baltazar for 21 years, and he mostly takes Mondays off. One of the best Croatian sommeliers, Goran Petrić, has only been at Baltazar for one season, but he has already managed to win the hearts of our guests with his encyclopedic knowledge of wines and his impeccable style of dress.
He claims that he was an excellent football player and that only this injury prevented him from achieving a great career. As a midfielder between the hall and the kitchen, there is another veteran, our Mladen Momić, a boy from Zagreb in his golden years who takes care of the procurement of groceries and knows Dolac like the back of his hand.
The kitchen orchestra plays under the direction of maestro Matija Bregeš, whose quiet authority, enthusiasm and love for cooking simply captivates. A characteristic contrast to the quiet Matija is another legend of Baltazar – Tomislav Mić – who for years in Baltazar’s kitchen has been demonstrating masterful knowledge in the preparation of fish and meat specialties and great love for Hajduk.
Bruno Tkalčević came to Baltazar as a scholarship holder of the association Chef kuha dom, but it seems that he has decided to stay and is progressing more and more every day. Our kitchen was recently joined by experienced chefs Niko Visković and Kristinko Majpruz, who have been with us for a short time, but have already proven to be reinforcements, and Luka Lazić, who came for a student internship, but as a great talent remained for further training.
As desserts always come at the end, we also mention our pastry chef, our dear aunt Ruža, whose cakes and pastries our guests look forward to from the aperitif. These are our people, who with their knowledge, effort, love and loyalty have kept Baltazar at the top of the Zagreb and Croatian restaurant scene for years, and I believe that we will remain there in the years to come.