I was born in Sarajevo and raised in the most multicultural and loving family. The life was dream come true until 1992 came along: dreaded war in Bosnia.
Iztok was born in Celje, Slovenia in the family of loving parents with strict rules. His education and work took turns all over former Yugoslavia: from Master chef to high ranking military officer to refugee during the years of war in former Yugoslavia.
Love crowned us with beautiful marriage and two wonderful kids.
It is still hard for us to talk "war" with many that had never been hungry or had no shoes, or hope to see the rest of their family. I had spent years in refugee camps with kids holding onto one thing only: to see mom and dad, sisters and hug them one more time; to have life we had lost- hard to expect anything when for years we didn't have any contact with them and wasn't sure if they were dead or alive.
Years in refugee camps had passed. We “settled” in Monte Negro for a few years and grew to love this tough and poor country surrounded by the marvelous Adriatic sea. We call it our second home now, BAOSIC, just one hour away from Dubrovnik (Croatia).
Although we lived in ultimate poverty, we were happy and content as nobody was shooting at us. Finally, the so wanted peace came and the war years were over. We adapted to Mediterranean way of life, cuisine and culture. Many asked me about what type of cuisine do we master? I say Mediterranean meet Middle East (my roots from Sarajevo) meet Western Europe (Iztok’s origin). Simply, the best!
My first trip back home to Sarajevo was during first months of cease fire in 1996; devastation was beyond my wildest dreams. My dreams to return to Sarajevo were shattered as I realized that 5 years of war had left all of us with deep scars and regrets: everyone lost someone or something, blaming the other party for the loss. I finally accepted that if we wanted to raise kids in peace, we needed to take them as far as possible from insanity of hatred, blame and religious differences.
We landed on Canadian soil in September 1997 and never looked back! Was it hard? Yes. Still is. Sad, lonely, alienated...we still are. But we are safe, have good lives, home and peace...the best reward for years of suffering.
I hold advance degrees in Food Science and Technology, Chemical Engineering and Business Management along with sensory evaluation of food, flavoring science, and culinary science. I think I did amazing work in the area of food science technology, food safety, and new and innovative food product development that promotes healthy food choices.
Iztok is amazing chef, sales person worthy “Oscar” and “Jack of all trades” ...go to person if anything goes wrong! Did I mention that ladies really like him? He is also our ever smiling face on Farmer’s Market and all public appearances!
Our biggest achievement in life are two wonderful kids: daughter Maja is a 24 year old beautiful girl working with me and son Bojan is a 29 year old police officer in Halifax Metro.
We embody a love for baking, family values and the taste for culinary excellence. Together, we share tremendous love for animals, have 3 dogs and 4 cats. We rescue everyone and everything, so to speak. We help generously many animal shelters: HART,CAPS, SPCA, charitable groups that help homeless people (Helping Hands), Food banks in Kentville and Halifax, Northeast Kings Education Centre (NKEC) donating bread for their breakfast program.
That is our story. I think we did OK. :)