|Ivan's love and understanding of local ingredients
and the endless curiosity of experimenting in the kitchen are the main
driving force of his cooking. Today, Ivan Zidar is leading the Mason burgers&stuff
team with a focus on quality, innovation and performance excellence.
His love for food has followed him since his childhood, but it would take some time for him to hear the lifelong call of culinary and it was this call that would drive him to switch his career as a graphic designer and video director to that of a chef.
It was in 2014 that he decided to enrol in a prestigious cooking school in Lyon, one named after the prominent chef and gourmet innovator Paul Bocuse. He invested a lot of time and effort into perfecting his skills and later worked with renowned restaurants in Slovenia and Croatia (Pri Lojzetu, Valsabion and Lanterna to name a few), and his themed evenings in the Lanterna restaurant thrilled even the most demanding of palates. After returning from France he would sail around Europe on a yacht of an Ukrainian entrepreneur cooking for him and his guests. Following these travels, he founded the street food bar "PlacE" in Pula, where he presented an intriguing gastro story with selected foods from the best Istrian family farms. In a bar he prepared Korean-Chinese-Italian-Croatian fusion using local ingredients. The ingredients he works with are those of top quality, regarding both source and farming as well as the manner of their preparation and presentation.
Mason burgers gain recognition in no time at all
The food of 40-year-old Ivan Zidar from Pula finally won the public's attention when his Špaleta burger was proclaimed the best at the Zagreb Burger Festival in September of 2017. After collecting various experiences, the chef decided to go a step further and introduce his own gourmet burger with top quality ingredients and the original recipe for the most demanding of palates, and the result is quite different from the usual burgers one would find in fast food restaurants. After six months of developing the burger concept, with three months going only into baking work, the Mason burgers&stuff burgers were live and were initially offered to beach bars and pubs across Croatia. Mason burgers&stuff burgers have been proclaimed the best burger at the Zagreb Burger Festival 2018 in two categories and are now being exported to other European cities as well.
Although burgers Mason burgers&stuff thirll gourmands well beyond the borders of Croatia, Ivan Zidar admits that he still has the unfulfilled desire to open a farm-to-table restaurant with his own garden, where his guests could see how the food on their plate is grown.