Stefan Barca, East Europe finalist: "I'm inspired by great artists"

Stefan Barca (previously at Belgrade’s Metropolitan Grill restaurant, now a free agent) is the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 East Europe region finalist. The 21-year-old Serbian chef will showcase his signature dish, playfully entitled Who Killed The Bambi at the grand final at Expo Milano 2015 in June. He spoke to us ahead of the big event.

Tell us about your signature dish.
This dish completely represents my style of plating, which I call ‘storytelling’. Each part of the dish has a story behind it, fuelled by random observations or a deliberate attempt to convey some interesting stories directly on the plate. The judges will discover the strongest point of the dish when they taste it.

What made you decide to become a chef?
I watched a lot of Jamie Oliver as child.

Which chef or chefs inspire you daily and why?
I have never been inspired by chefs, only by artists and great minds like Leonardo, Piet Mondrian, Salvador Dali, Picasso, etc.

What’s the best dish you’ve ever tasted - where did you eat it, who cooked it? 
Slow-cooked veal kidney ragout, served in the most amazing bread roll I have ever tasted. It was made in a small bakery in the old town of the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

What’s the most challenging aspect of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 for you?
The most challenging aspect is how to convince Joan Roca and Massimo Bottura that my dish is the best.

What kind of help/guidance would you like from your mentor?
I expect valuable, interesting and useful tips that will significantly improve my dish.

What will you do if you win this competition?
I will drink chilled S.Pellegrino water every single dinner service.


Stefan Barca mentor: meet chef Florin Dumitrescu