ANYONE CAN COOK?

I will take liberty and say yes, but apart from having a desire to make a delicious dish, the most important ingredient shall be love and done from the heart.

There are quite a few chefs that have never attended culinary school and yet have become famous and well-known in their domain. Two of them are Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsey. I am their biggest fan. No matter if they have not attended school, their practices and some kind of education were crucial to put them where they are today.

This introduction is based on a very recent event. I have been invited to attend lunch at  Restaurant Sino located in Kavadarci, Macedonia, a place where I have witnessed amazing experience. Stay tuned!

I was so looking forward to it. Since I have never been before in Kavadarci, my first experience was about to be a gastronomic kiss? The return from cruiser on homeland, at places I have never visited. Interesting isn’t it? Challenge accepted! Organizing a trip works quite fast in my country – few calls to arrange the trip and the very next day we were on the road to feel the climate In Kavadarci, a city which is well known for its wine culture as well.

1. Interior:
Hungry and obviously excited we were welcomed in a wonderful, homelike, super clean ambient. With the edge of my eye I’ve managed to come closer and realize that we are settling in a very home feel place. I would say the daylight was the one I was missing a bit, but the next thing has already neglected the fact. It is a two floor restaurant, and taking into account these crazy Corona times it was obvious that it was working in accordance with Government’s decisions. The cozy restaurant has left its first impressions. Chill atmosphere and friendly staff.

2. Starters:
Me personally, I love surprises and could not wait to come closer with the gastronomic kiss.

As starters we were served salads, cheeses, traditional macedonian “pita”, “pindjur” (it is a traditional spread made with roasted peppers, eggplant and garlic). Macedonians are well known for starting lunch with salad and rakija (an alcoholic beverage made of plums, grapes – as this one). Kavadarci, apart of the wine, is well known by Kavadarechka rakija as well. Probably the best one. I’m not the one to tell, unfortunately, because I don’t drink rakija at all. Since we have been served domestic and French cheese, my selection of drink was white wine. A combination I’m mad for.

Right after the starters who would have thought the following step? I was just so sincerely thrilled and surprised with the offer!

Grilled beef heart on a bed of red bean pure and marinated strips of red peppers. There was an explosion of mixed tastes following, flavorful and mouth-watering all together with the purée and the peppers! The real thing! I don’t even remember the last time when I had Beef heart, it was a very brave choice by the chef. ! Chapeau! – as the French people would say.

3. Main Dish
The main dish consisted of Tomahawk Steak, T-bone steak and Beef Tenderloin. The meat itself was of excellent quality, so juicy and soft, it was literally melting in the mouth. (I will write about the origin of the meat in one of my next blogs).

*You know it’s very rare to find well prepared steak in Macedonia; probably you can count it on one hand. Unfortunately there were times I have been disappointed from the steak preps, either the meat was super hard and heavy to chew, or the grill temperature was missed, or they are not using any sauce with the meat at all. (Something that really bothers me, and for sure is a very important detail). Instead they are using ordinary cream sauce made from heavy cream, which again, is unacceptable when it comes to high quality meats.

In this case I had the feeling that each piece of meat, sauce’s etc. , was so well selected, sophisticated to perfection. The meats themselves were cooked to perfection, seasoned well and combined with the sauces served were just perfect. (Have a look at the pictures).

– Tomahawk steak was cut into stripes and laid on its bone well known for its length and shape. What an idea!

– T-bone steak was served with salsa Verde and sauce made of dry red peppers and almonds. The taste was great and well balanced.

– The Beef tenderloin is the last but not least probably is the most high-quality piece of meat served with “Béarnaise” sauce, known as the one of the hardest sauces to be prepared. In this case it was very well prepared and well balanced. I would suggest the béarnaise to be served on the side and not on the top of the meat.

Once again: Well done chef!

4. Dessert
As for the end of the dinner, dessert. I’ll be honest and admit that I have a sweet tooth and really enjoyed the chocolate cake with hazelnut “Fererro” and white chocolate coconut cake “Raffaello” made by their personal recipe.

Not to forget everything we ate was served in “family style”.  

RATING: 4.5 / 5

PRICE: *****
Considering the quality of the food, the prices are regular.

SERVICE: ****
Delightful, friendly, and very professional.

AMBIENCE: ****
Cozy and very welcoming.

FOOD: *****
Absolutely amazing, everything we tasted melted in the mouths.

“Anyone can cook?

I would like to come back and explain what I mean by “Anyone can cook?” and share some interesting facts for the Chef:

-Marko is an economist, with a passion for gastronomy and full dedication = successful gastronomic story.

To never be forgotten – one chef’s success does not belong to himself only. Behind each one of us, there is an army of successful teams besides. Therefore I’d say congratulations to the whole team for this successful gastronomic fairytale.

The first kiss in Kavadarci will not stay up to this point, because this enjoyment needs to be repeated. I challenge you to do yourself a favor and visit the restaurant Sino and taste Marco’s magic kitchen.

Stay tuned until my next blog…

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About the Author: Viktor Nasteski

Experienced Executive Chef with a demonstrated history of working in the leisure, travel & tourism industry. Skilled in Catering, Hospitality Industry, Management, MICROS, and Training. Extended operations experience for some of the top international and multinational Hotels, Restaurants and Cruise corporations.

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