Center for Culinary Education

Pearl of the Sea 2023: A Culinary Odyssey Uniting the World

The 18th edition of the Pearl of the Sea festival and competition has left a memorable mark on the culinary world, as it brought together professionals, chefs, and food enthusiasts from around the globe to the picturesque island of Brač. This event, organized by the Association of Chefs from Mediterranean and European Regions (ACMER/SKMER), has truly transformed into a celebration of gastronomic creativity and excellence.

Founded by Miro Bogdanović in 2006, the Pearl of the Sea was conceived as an opportunity for chefs, waiters, mentors, vocational teachers, and culinary students to gather in one place and exchange their knowledge, skills, and passion. Over the years, the event has grown to become the largest culinary competition and festival in the Mediterranean and Europe.

This year’s edition saw record-breaking attendance, with more than 500 participants from 30 countries showcasing their talents in 22 competitive categories. A staggering 274 medals were awarded, including 75 gold, 113 silver, and 85 bronze. In addition, 28 masterclasses, educational sessions, and presentations were held, with the first-ever judging seminar taking place at the festival.

The hosting hotel accommodated over 500 guests from diverse countries, contributing to a lively and inspiring atmosphere during the festival. Over 1,000 participants took part in the masterclasses and presentations, and more than 3,000 visitors attended the event, reflecting the growing interest and appreciation for the culinary arts worldwide.

As the festival unfolded, it became evident that the power of food transcends borders, languages, and cultures. The Pearl of the Sea 2023 showcased the immense opportunities within the culinary arts for professionals and enthusiasts alike to be different, bold, and to make a difference.

Congratulations to the overall winner, Petar Vlak from Split, whose dedication, hard work, and commitment to continuous learning serve as an inspiration to others in the culinary field. We eagerly anticipate the 19th edition of the Pearl of the Sea in March 2024, and look forward to witnessing how the event continues to evolve and shape the future of gastronomy.