Chef/Owner George Djurovic developed his interest in cooking at an early age, alongside his mother and grandmother preparing traditional Macedonian dishes. Trips to visit relatives throughout Macedonia, Montenegro and Croatia exposed George to a myriad of southern European cuisine. His grandfather chilling cucumbers in a cold stream that ran through his vineyard, to picking green hazelnut, wild strawberries and stinging nettles on hikes through the surrounding forest are some of the many early experiences that sparked George’s interest in food.
Determined to pursue his passion for cooking, George attended Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu in 1999 and apprenticed under famed chef Alain Senderens at his Michelin 3 star Lucas Carton. George’s training in classic fundamentals under this legendary French chef proved to be a touchstone in his development as a chef.
George returned back home from Paris to a number of increasingly impressive assignments—from TRU (Rick Tramonto) in Chicago, to New York’s Union Pacific (Rocco DiSpirito), Cru (Shae Gallante) and Le Bernardin (Eric Ripert), one of only six restaurants with the coveted Michelin three star ranking in New York City.
George’s longest tenure in New York was at Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, routinely ranked among the best restaurants in the world. Like all the cooks there, George worked his way through all the stations in Ripert’s kitchen, establishing his capabilities; he developed a deeper sense for what it means to cook. Chef Ripert’s style is one of purity and finesse. At first glance, his approach may appear minimalist, but really it is one rooted in elegance and clarity. Far beyond the execution of recipes alone, Ripert instilled in George a deep understanding of the ingredients, the delicate nuances and the importance of an organized, clear head. George quickly proved himself, was made saucier and offered a sous chef position. While grateful for the offer, George decided to expand his culinary experience, laying the groundwork to open his own restaurant. Le Bernardin took George’s cooking to another level and will always be one of the highlights of George’s life experiences.
Chef David Burke Park Ave. Café, Chicago1997-1999
Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu 1999-2000
Chef Rocco DiSpirito Union Pacific, New York 2001-2002 NYT 3 Stars
Chef Shae Gallante Cru, New York 2005 NYT 3 Stars