Flavors of Croatia: A Qualitative Study on Creativity and Innovativeness in Croatian Cuisine

Agata Juran

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis gives an insight on innovation and creativity within gastronomy field in Croatian cuisine. By means of qualitative study, this paper provides an explanation for different factors that influence the level of creativity and innovation in fine dining restaurants in Croatia. Cooking is still not recognized as a domain of creative industries, neither chefs have gained an “artistic status”. People in Croatia don’t consider restaurants as a stage to present art and they are rather reserved when it comes to letting their palates tasting new food. In the era where food has been gaining popularity by the speed of greased lightning, restaurants need to compete to be distinctive. Probably the only way of doing it is by increasing creativity among their chefs. This study offers an insight on the factors that influence creativity and ultimately innovation. Those factors come in two groups: intrinsic and external. Intrinsic factors that are enhancing creativity are selfmotivation, curiosity and persistence as the main personal characteristics, expertise in the area and good social skills. On the other hand, tough financial crisis in Croatia, accompanied with ruthless governmental laws inhibit the process of creativity. Extrinsic factors are addressed by the motivation of winning international awards such as being enlisted in Michelin Guide or The World’s Best 50 Restaurant List led by San Pellegrino. Chefs are driven by their domain- and creativity-relevant skills. One doesn’t work without another. However, in the case of the restaurants that were part of my research, and from the survey that I conducted with students from a culinary school, it is seen that creativity- relevant skills are far more important than the former one. The characteristics of the chefs are sufficient to create a nouvelle cuisine movement in Croatia. There are still some elements that need to be considered, like the problem of local production and the heap of meals that are rather considered to be international than Croatian.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages107