After graduating from the Belgrade Catering and Culinary School, Nemanja Petrovic explored the world in a culinary way. Chef Nemanja has worked as a cook in the Netherlands, in the Czech Republic or even in Russia. Today, he is Executive Chef at Hotel Irtish and expands his knowledge of Kazakh cuisine.

Chef Nemanja shares his path and insights with us in this interview.


Nemanja Petrovic- Chef’s Portrait


You are an experienced Chef de Cuisine with a demonstrated history as an international chef. When did all start? Why did you become a chef?

My love for cooking began in my early childhood. I spent my summer holidays with my grandmother in the countryside and I always liked to prepare fresh bread, homemade cheese and various other dishes.


Which culinary school did you visit?

I graduated from the Belgrade Catering and Culinary School.



How would you best describe Serbian cuisine?

Serbia is always at the crossroads of great roads. That is why today we have received a very varied and interesting national cuisine that is appreciated and well-known all over the world.


The new interpretation of traditional dishes: Which traditional dishes from Serbia do you offer in a new modern way?

I always try to serve old and traditional dishes and to give my own modern style, but I always make sure that the meaning of the meal does not get lost. Of course, the range of possibilities is very wide thanks to today’s technologies.


In Tula and Moscow you made your first experiences as a chef in Russia. What have you learned from Russian cuisine so far?

After many years of work in Russia and in general with the countries of the former Soviet Union, I noticed that my colleagues are trying to revive some old and forgotten dishes, and also start using many foods that are forgotten to me. I always admire the wealth of Russian cuisine and I love to prepare many dishes that I perfected thanks to my Russian colleagues.


How would you describe your own culinary line today?

Today’s trends in gastronomy are very high. I always try to work with fresh, seasonal and always available food. It’s important to keep track of the season and try to always give the best combination of tastes to my guests for that period of the year.



Today you work as Executive Chef in Kazakhstan. What was new to you in Kazakh cuisine?

Kazakhstan is very famous in the world for the great use of horse meat. Upon my arrival in Kazakhstan, I tried to create my dishes that are very popular now and which are rated by clients with very good comments. So we got: a horse-drawn horse with a potato graten, file minjon of horses, ice cream from kumis.


If you have days off: Which local specialties do you eat?

I always give priority to healthy nutrition, so it is mostly a mix of green salad and fresh fish from the Caspian Sea.


Any place in the world you would like to work as a chef one day? 

Restaurant Ducasse Paris.


Thank you so much, Chef Nemanja!


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