Chef Ivica Svalina
7770 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, VA. 22306
When did you first become interested in cooking?
Early in my childhood when I used to help my mom and grandma with their home cooking, that is how I got the idea to go to culinary school in ex-Yugoslavia (now Croatia and Bosnia) where I worked along the Adriatic coast. Later, because of the war during the 1990s, I met great chefs across Bavaria and Germany who reinforced my love for food.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Frank Kreutzer, a young German chef, who I worked for and with ten years mastering Western specialties of Germany, Austria, Swiss, and Hungary. Further down the road Uffe Mikkelsen, who was the executive chef at the Ritz Carlton, inspired me. He hired me during my first week in the USA and now owns Rosina’s.
What dish on your menu are you most curious to see how it is received?
Momentarily I am very pleased with the response that I’ve received for all of my dishes. Particularly the Züriche Geschnetzeltes with homemade Spätzle, which initially I was curious about how people would like it. Likewise the cevapcici we serve, homemade with organic meat, were unfamiliar to people and we are still introducing them to the community.
What do you do to insure that your food is of high quality?
I drive to the Pennsylvania Amish for naturally raised meat, and overall all of other ingredients are bought daily from various places (no freezers here!) Sometimes I go to a store for only one thing. It takes up a lot of time, but it insures all my ingredients, and therefore all of my cooking is fresh.
If any chef in the world would cook for you, who would you like it to be?
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Grilled chicken in combination with shrimp in garlic, parsley, and olive oil with a side of pan-roasted potatoes.
~ Written by: Chester Simpson