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Open Fire Cooking Workshop + Retreat in Croatia


Meet us in the rolling green hills of the Croatian countryside.

This fall, join us in the heart of Istria at the height of truffle season for a five day retreat designed to inspire, nourish and refresh. Days will be spent truffle foraging and exploring charming seaside villages and medieval hilltop towns. Come evening, we’ll gather around the outdoor hearth of our ancient stone villa to cook meals together, then sit down to share al fresco feasts paired with local wines.

This workshop is for cooks of all levels who love food and culture and are curious about the basics of building and combining flavors, cooking with the seasons and surroundings, and mastering open fire cooking techniques.

This is a slow food and lifestyle retreat. We’ll couple fun excursions and hands-on lessons with plenty of leisure time to rest, lounge in the sun with a book, swim in the infinity pool and take in the extraordinary beauty of the region.



The workshop price of $2900 includes the following:

Accommodations | We’ll stay at a beautifully restored stone villa tucked into the enchanting Istrian countryside. The grounds include lush gardens, an infinity pool with breathtaking views and an outside kitchen complete with central hearth. All guests will enjoy their own bed in a shared bedroom with en suite bathroom.

Meals + Refreshments | All meals and beverages will be provided.

Excursions | All day trips will include transportation and lunch with wine.

Lessons | Each day we will explore flavors and techniques, highlighting the bounty of the region and sharing our seasonal farm-to-fire approach to cooking. The lessons will take place in the outside kitchen around the stone hearth, focusing on open-fire cooking techniques such as grilling, ash-roasting, cedar-planking, string-roasting, and using our favorite unique Croatian cooking tool/method: the peka. Together we’ll prep and cook dinner each evening, then sit down to share the bountiful meal we’ve created.

Materials | All class materials will be provided. You are welcome to bring an apron and your own culinary knives.

Photography | We are so pleased to have Lili Basic, a photographer based in Zagreb and author of Travelling Oven, as our local ambassador and charming guide. Lili will be capturing photos of our adventures during the retreat. For guests interested in bringing their own camera, Lili will be on hand to talk about photography and share tips and inspirations.


Monday, September 30 | Guests meet at Dolac Farmers Market in Zagreb at 10am (optional but highly recommended!) to explore the region’s bountiful offerings, then slowly meander to the villa located in a little hamlet near the village of Livade, arriving by 5pm. Dinner, wine and merriment, then a good night’s rest.

Tuesday, October 1 | Excursion to seaside town for lunch overlooking the bay, then return to villa to prepare and enjoy dinner together.

Wednesday, October 2 | Truffle foraging expedition with truffle-laden lunch, then return to villa to prepare and enjoy dinner together.

Thursday, October 3 | Daytrip to historic hilltop walled village with lunch overlooking the valley, then return to villa to prepare and enjoy dinner together.

Friday, October 4 | Farewell breakfast and departure by 11am.


Guests are responsible for all travel to and from the workshop location, including airfare and ground transpiration to the villa, located in a small hamlet near the village of Livade.

We suggest flying into the Zagreb airport and either renting a car, hiring a driver or arranging a car share with a fellow workshop attendee (we’ll connect guests prior to the trip) for the roughly three hour drive to Istria.


Insurance | We recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances such as illness/injury, natural disasters or flight cancellations.

Payment | To reserve your spot, you may pay in full or spread over two installments - half now and the other half 60 days before the retreat, payable on or before July 30, 2019. To choose the 50% deposit option, please use the code CROATIADEPOSIT at check out. If you reserve after July 30th, the full payment will be due upon checkout.

Cancellation | Once registered, refunds are not available unless you are able to find a replacement.

Acknowledgements | Registering for this workshop assumes acknowledgment of all the conditions contained within this retreat description.

Communications | Rest assured, we will be in regular contact with all retreat attendees over the coming months to answer questions and discuss everything from travel recommendations to packing suggestions to logistics. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Phone | WiFi is available at the villa but may not be reliable. We suggest contacting your service provider for options when traveling outside the country.

Come feast, learn and explore with us in this enchanting place.

Photos by Eva Kosmas Flores and Lili Basic