"There are days here in Cavtat when nature looks so pure and one can feel the happiness in the air. We want to transfer this serenity on our plates. In order to do that we constantly have to fight for the quality of ingredients and learn how to process them to get the best out of them!"
The Head Chef / Co-Owner
There are not many quality restaurants in areas populated with tourists. Intensive seasonality of such locations puts enormous strain on the kitchen, the bar and the front of the house. Our mission is to find or produce the best possible ingredients and to process them in such a way that they give us their best flavour and texture. We find it irrelevant if this is accomplished by the use of traditional methods, super modern equipment or both combined.
Chef Lukas Widomski is an aspiring young chef with passion for beautiful food. Before finding his mentors in chefs Mark Hix and Tim Hughes of the Caprice Holdings in London, Lukas worked in a number of quality London restaurants including Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. In 2013 Lukas joined Bugenvila and redefined the mission of the restaurant, questioning the conventional Dalmatian restaurant menus and combining the latest technologies in culinary world like dehydration, compression, infusion, liquid nitrogen and others with traditional methods like brining, smoking, marinating, braising and pot roasting. In 2015, Lukas became a partner in the restaurant and continues working as the head chef, exploring new food pairing combinations and introducing new exciting dishes.
"Do right. Do your best.
Treat others as you want to be treated!"
Monika and Igor are founders and co-owners of Bugenvila. They manage marketing, business development and strategy for current and future operations.
They had never expected to be involved in the restaurant industry. Before opening Bugenvila, Monika worked as a teacher at the Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She defines Bugenvila with her warm personality and natural flair for hospitality.
Igor is an entrepreneur with ample experience in property development. He is involved in several real-estate projects. His hobby is restoration of wooden boats.
In 2013 Igor and Monika met Chef Lukas. It was obvious that the stunning Dalmatian coast badly needed creative culinary minds. The world had already recognised the beauty and potential of the picturesque European coast, while the local gastronomy remained at the level of the late 1980’s eateries.
As outsiders to the restaurant business, Monika and Igor's approach to the restaurant business is markedly innovative and honest. Mortgaged with the seasonal character of Dubrovnik tourism, Bugenvila struggles to provide constant level of cuisine disregarding the time of the year.
Monika and Igor live in the historical town of Cavtat and in Krakow, Poland.
"I don’t understand how it works but there are John Dory evenings, there are Hanger Steak evenings, Lobster evenings and so on when everybody orders the same thing!"
Chef de Partie
Jakov’s interest in cooking began when he enrolled the Oliva Allegra Culinary School in Split.
He joined the team at Bugenvila in 2013 straight from the school.
His relentless drive and work moved him quickly up the ladder. Jakov ultimate goal is to open his own restaurant somewhere along the coast where orders for well-done steaks will not be accepted.
"Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it!"
Chef de Partie
Massimo has had the fondness for the kitchen from a very young age.
Born to a family of food lovers, one of Massimo’s first experiences was staging in the Pierre Gagnare restaurant.
Before joining the team at Bugenvila, Massimo worked as the head chef of the Rhug Estate, in Corwen, Denbighshire, UK, a large estate producing a wide range of farm products of highest quality.
"DESSERTS is STRESSED spelled backwards!""
Having grown up as the cook of her family, becoming a chef was the natural path for Natalia.
She started on the savory side at different Istrian restaurants. But after a few years on the line, Natalia developed a sweet tooth and became the restaurant’s pastry chef.
Since then she’s honed her talent around Europe, including places like the Thornton's in Dublin. Natalia eventually wants to open her own pastry/deli shop somewhere back in her native Istria.