My name is Nevena Stajcic. I was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia. I hold a B.A. in Japanese language and literature and M.A. in Communication and Media studies. I am also a certified USSA Wine & Spirits Sommelier, WSET Level 3 Wine & Spirits Certificate holder, and Prud’homme Beer Sommelier.
I come from a country where people take a lot of pride in the local food and cooking. There are 3 things people say about Belgrade:
• Great Food,
• Beautiful Women
• Ultimate Nightlife
Every part of Serbia has a specialty dish or dishes and is famous for its own way of preparation. Serbian traditional cuisine has a myriad of flavors and aromas, much owing to the mixture of influences of various people who were just passing through or were living in this region. As is the case with the culture in general, this fusion of different influences resulted in originality, so that today a rich Serbian table offers unforgettable tastes that can only be enjoyed in Serbia.
Serbian cuisine is characterized by highly diverse, solid and spicy food, which can be roughly described as a mixture of Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish and Hungarian cuisine. The use of meat, dough, vegetables and dairy products is predominant in it.
I started experimenting with food very early. My mom was and still is my best mentor. She bought me my first cookbook when I was 8. Actually, I got 3 books by Angela Wilkes and Stephen Cartwright and I still have them: Hot Things, Sweet Things, and Party Things. One of the first serious dishes I made was cheese soufflé – it was a success and a big deal for me! I don’t have a favorite dish or a favorite cuisine. I believe in eclecticism and multiculturalism on a plate. Aromas, flavors, and textures are important for me, and I immensely enjoy wine, beer, and coffee tastings.
I started seriously researching and writing about food in 2009. My idea was to incorporate food in academic research, especially in communication studies. Food is an important aspect of communication and many interactions involve food. A country’s food and eating habits can be considered as intrinsic to national identity, touching all aspects of history, culture, society, and economy. I published several papers on food, one of which is Understanding Culture: Food as a means of Communication.
I moved to Toronto in 2015 and since then I have been exploring the remarkable food scene. What better place to enjoy and experiment with food than this one. With ingredients available throughout the year, it is easy to put your ideas into action! Most of the recipes you will find here are inspired by European cuisine, but not strictly limited to it.
If you would like to share your thoughts about food and wine, or food and beer pairings, please feel free to contact me. Until then, have yourself a wonderful day!