Džanan Hamza, šef kuhinje na brodu koji krstari Evropom: U jelovnike često dodam i bosanske specijalitete

Džanan Hamza, chef on a ship cruising across Europe: I often put Bosnian specialties on the menus

 Kuhar Džanan Hamza za sebe voli kazati kako je dijete svijeta, a zavirite li u njegovu biografiju, otkrit ćete i zašto tako govori.

Ovaj majstor bez premca za štednjakom, koji je kulinarske tajne otkrivao učeći od najboljih italijanskih i francuskih chefova, rođen je u Prizrenu, kuharsku školu završio je u Podgorici, a zanat kalio u sarajevskim, budvanskim i bečkim restoranima.

Od 2013. godine plovi morima i rijekama Evrope na velikim brodovima i kruzerima, koji nose oznaku – pet zvjezdica – a koji su u vlasništvu švicarske firme.

Radno vrijeme

Na jednom od njih je šef kuhinje, a tu titulu zaradio je ispunjavajući gastronomske želje putnika pristiglih iz svih krajeva svijeta – od Australije do Amerike.

Zadovoljni onim što bi probali nisu krili oduševljenje, ali ni pohvale, a mnogi su se i po nekoliko puta vraćali na „njegov brod“.

Ovih dana Džanan je na kraćem odmoru u Sarajevu gdje mu žive supruga, djeca i roditelji, inače poznati poslastičari iz Podgorice, a potom se ponovo vraća u Njemačku. Krstarenje počinje iz Nuremberga i vodi prema Mađarskoj, Bugarskoj, Rumuniji, Srbiji, a potom istom rutom nazad.

-Biti kuhar, a naročito šef kuhinje na brodu, posve je drugačije od onoga u nekom restoranu na kopnu. Kada ste na brodu, morate paziti bukvalno na svaku sitnicu. Prije isplovljavanja nabaviti sve artikle i pregledati ih do u detalje, jer kad isplovite, a zafali vam neka namirnica dok pripremate specijalitete, ne možete stati i otići na kopno da je kupite. Iako, kao šef kuhinje, unaprijed pravim jelovnike, uvijek se desi da gost zatraži neko drugo jelo za koje morate biti spremni. Moj radni dan nije osam sati, kako je to bivalo dok sam radio u Bosni. Često se to protegne na 12-13, pa čak i 18 sati, ali takav je posao. Naša misija je da gost u svakom segmentu mora biti zadovoljan uslugom, a od tima s kojim radite zavisi sve – govori Hamza, jedan od najmlađih šefova kuhinje u švicarskoj kompaniji za koju radi.

Krstarenja obično traju sedam dana, a plovi se evropskim državama, od Njemačke, Francuske, Švicarske, Austrije, Bugarske, Rumunije, Mađarske, Slovačke, Holadnije, Luksemburga, do Hrvatske i Srbije. Interesantno je to da jelovnici na brodu prate zemlju kojom se plovi.

-Svaki dobar kuhar drži se lokalnog jelovnika, jer to se pokazalo kao pun pogodak. Kad, primjera radi, uplovimo u Budimpeštu, nekako je normalno da se gostima taj dan za ručak ponudi ‘mađarski gulaš’, u Beču ‘bečka šnicla’, a kada ste u Bavarskoj obavezan je švedski sto na kojem moraju biti pečenje, pereci, pivo… Često u jelovnik dodam i nešto bosansko, poput somuna ili sirnice za doručak. Svidjelo se to gostima, pogotovo Amerikancima – objašnjava nam.

U prethodnih 14 godina, koliko se bavi profesionalnim kulinarstvom, puno je lijepih uspomena koje će, kaže, pamtiti dok je živ. Jedna od njih je i posjeta bračnog para iz Australije od prije nekoliko godina, koji su, otkriva nam, vlasnici poznatog gastronomskog magazina u svojoj zemlji.

Poznate ličnosti

-U to vrijeme glavni kuhar bio je jedan Englez, a ja i još jedan kolega njegovi pomoćnici. Zbog toga što smo bili odličan tim, glavni kuhar nam je puno toga prepuštao, jer smo znali svoj posao. Tako je bilo i tada. Par je zatražio da im šef kuhinje pripremi poseban jelovnik, a mi smo se odmah dali na posao. Sjećam se, za predjelo servirali smo supu od gljiva i raviole s tartufima, a za glavno jelo pripremili smo beefsteak vakumiran i kuhan više od šest sati na niskoj temperaturi. Bio je to pun pogodak.

Nakon povratka u Australiju napisali su tekst kako su prvo bili u jednom restoranu u Beču, koji ima dvije Michelinove zvjezdice, gdje su ručak, bez vina, platili 800 eura. Potom su došli na naš brod i jeli za 40 eura. U tekstu su napisali kako su im dva momka, koji su bili pomoćnici glavnog kuhara, pripremili puno skuplji, ukusniji i ljepše prezentiran jelovnik od onoga u bečkom restoranu. I danas u knjizi utisaka gostiju na brodu čuvamo njihov komentar – prisjetio se Džanan jednog od mnogih događaja, koji mu je, kaže, dao vjetar u leđa da bude još bolji u onome što radi.

Iako je kuhao za mnoge poznate ličnosti, ne voli odvajati goste, jer su mu svi, naglašava, podjednako važni. Ali želi istaći sa kakvim je sve imenima imao čast pripremati jela, počevši od Nermina Hodžića, predsjednika Udruženja kuhara BiH, preko Gian Luce Tomasija, predsjednika italijanske Nacionalne kulinarske federacije, do Michellea Voirina, generalnog korporativnog šefa Kempinski hotela.

S ponosom govori i o tradicionalnoj bosanskoj kuhinji, ali ga, kaže, ljuti to što je neki ne shvataju ozbiljno.

-Bosanska kuhinja vrlo je slična francuskoj, naročito po tehnikama, koje mi naravno nismo nazivali kao Francuzi, ali ako se vratimo 600-700 godina unazad, listajući neke historijske knjige, jedino je fine dining serviran u Bosni, u Sarajevu. Jelovnici od 17 gangova servirani su još u vrijeme Gazi Husrev-bega, a to nešto znači i govori o nama. Ja to s ponosom ističem gdje god sam u svijetu i sa kim god sjedim u društvu od mojih kolega sa zapada. Pokazujem im stare jelovnike, jela koja su se tada pripremala, jer se imamo čime ponositi – kaže Hamza.

Džanan Hamza, chef on a ship cruising across Europe: I often put Bosnian specialties on the menus

Chef Džanan Hamza likes to say about himself that he is a child of the world, and if you peek into to his biography, you will discover why he says so. This master behind the stow, who revealed culinary secrets by learning from the best Italian and French chefs, was born in Prizren, graduated from the cooking school in Podgorica, and brought this craft  to perfection in Sarajevo, Budva and Viennese restaurants.

Since 2013, he has been sailing seas and rivers of Europe on large ships and cruisers bearing the mark – Five Star – owned by a Swiss company.

Working Hours

On one of them, he is the chef, and he earned that title by filling the gastronomic wishes of travelers arriving from all over the world – from Australia to America. Satisfied with what they would try, they did not hide the enthusiasm, neither the praise, many returned to “his ship” several times.

These days, Džanan is on a shorter holiday in Sarajevo where his wife, children and parents, who are famous delicatessen masters from Podgorica, live; and then he will return to Germany. The cruise starts from Nuremberg and leads to Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and then the same route back.

-To be the cook, and especially the chef on the boat, is quite different from the one in a restaurant on the land. When you are on board, you have to be careful about every little thing. Before sailing, get all the items and browse them in details, because when you sail, and you are missing something whilst preparing specialties, you cannot just go to buy it. Although, as a chef, I make menus in advance, it always happens that a guest asks for some other dish for which you must be ready. My working day is not eight hours, as it was while I was working in Bosnia. Often it stretches to 12, 13 and even 18 hours, but that’s the job. Our mission is that the guest in each segment must be satisfied with the service, and everything depends on the team you work with – says Hamza, one of the youngest chefs in the Swiss company for which he works.

Cruises usually last for seven days, and the sail goes through European countries, from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Holland, Luxembourg, to Croatia and Serbia. It is interesting that the menus on the ship follow the land they are sailing.

-Any good chef is holding on to a local menu, because it proved to be a full hit. When, for example, we sail in Budapest, it is kind of normal for guests to enjoy the Hungarian goulash that day, in Vienna ‘Vienna steak’, and when you are in Bavaria, there is a Swedish table with broiling, pretzels and beer. Often I also add something to the menu, such as somun (Bosnian tin bread) or cheese pie for breakfast. Guests liked it, especially the Americans – explains Hamza.

In the past 14 years, as far as he is dealing with professional cooking, there are plenty of nice memories that he will remember, while he is alive. One of them is one couple’s visit to Australia from a couple of years ago, who, as he discovered to us, are the owners of a famous gastronomic magazine in their own country.

Famous persons

-At that time, the main chief was an Englishman, I and another colleague were his assistants. We were a great team, so the main chef used to leave us alone a lot, because we knew how to do our job. That’s how it was then. The couple asked us to prepare a special menu for them, and we immediately started working. I remember the appetizer we served mushroom and truffle sauce and ravioli, and for the main course we prepared a beefsteak vacuumed and cooked for more than six hours at low temperature. It was a full hit. After returning to Australia, they wrote the text on how they were first in a restaurant in Vienna, which has two Michelin stars, where they paid lunch, without wine, 800 euros. Then they came to our ship and ate for 40 euros. In the text, they wrote that two guys, who were assistants to the main chef, prepared a much more expensive, tastier and more beautifully presented menu than the one in the Vienna restaurant. Even today, in the book of impressions of guests on board, we keep their comment; Džanan recalled one of many events, which, he says, blew the wind in his back to be even better in what he is doing.

Although he has cooked for many celebrities, he does not like to separate guests, as everyone, he emphasizes, is equally important. However, he wants to point out for which names he had the honor of preparing meals, starting with Nermin Hodžić, President of the BiH Chef Association, through Gian Luce Tomasi, president of the Italian National Culinary Federation, to Michelle Voirin, general corporate chief of the Kempinski Hotel.

He also proudly speaks of traditional Bosnian cuisine, but says he is angry that some do not take it seriously.

-Bosnia cuisine is very similar to French, especially by techniques, which we, of course, did not name like French people did, but if we return 600, 700 years back, going through to some historical books, only fine dining is served in Bosnia, in Sarajevo. 17 gang menus were served in the time of Gazi Husrev-bey, and that means something and talks about us. I proudly emphasize this, wherever I am in the world, and with whomever I sit. I show people the old menus, the dishes that were then prepared, because we have something to be proud of – says Hamza.