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Stjepan Vukadin

Africa shares an exclusive new recipe with Vogue Adria

Tina Kovačićek

March 2, 2024

Tihomir Krklec, better known by his nickname Afrika, charmed the Croatian version of Masterchef in 2022, emerging as one of the favorites to win. lthough victory eluded him then, he has continued to pursue cooking seriously, a field he entered accidentally and out of sheer curiosity.

I’m currently very engaged with projects. March is totally crazy, so I’m busy in the kitchen every weekend. I cook in Osijek with my friend Marko at the Waldinger Gallery, then rush to Pula to join my friend Edi at the Wine bar Sorsi, where we’ll prepare several interesting wine-friendly dishes. The weekend after that is the second episode of my new project with Ali Mirza from the Zagreb Social Club, called Secret Sunday Lover, where we organize a monthly Sunday lunch. It’s a different location every time, and the food and drink are thematically connected, but the most important rule is that mobile phones are strictly prohibited. After that, for Good Friday, with the team from Hook & Cook, we are doing a kitchen takeover in one of the best Istrian restaurants – Alla Beccaccia. Among all these projects, I’m also gearing up for the season of private cooking for small groups on yachts. My focus is on being a freelance chef, which somehow is working out for me since I never see myself in a large kitchen except in an educational capacity, for internships, and gaining experience from other chefs.

In addition to gastronomy, Afrika is a great tattoo artist , and he engages in music in his spare time, when he has some. He is one of the most interesting young chefs who brilliantly combines different forms of art in his life. Food creatively fulfills me; I see a great connection between the visual art I practice and cooking. The uniqueness, creativity, and precise techniques that are highly valued in cooking also play a crucial role in art to stand out. When designing recipes, the visual aspect, and contemplation, the final product gains an additional dimension of taste and scent. So you can actually literally taste and smell my art!

He shares his preferences for the types of dishes and ingredients he likes to work with. I love to experiment with easily accessible and seasonal ingredients. I often work with fish and vegetables, which is somewhat odd because as a child I didn’t like vegetables much, and fish was only eaten a few times a year in my region, Zagorje. My inspiration mostly comes when I get a cheap ingredient and play around to make it unusual and ‘uncheap’.

For Vogue Adria, he shared an interesting recipe and a somewhat unusual combination of ingredients that work perfectly on his plate. I was really happy when I noticed that fresh wild asparagus from Istria had arrived at Zagreb’s Dolac market, where I often go shopping, which is unusual for this time of year. I immediately had the idea to combine them with clams, as they are also in season, but I still needed one more element. Often, that third element in my dishes is what draws attention. So, I chose an excellent kulen from a well-known Slavonian butcher shop. It may sound strange and unusual at first, but in Spain, fish is often combined with their famous chorizo ​​sausage, which is quite similar to our kulen.

recipe for mussels, asparagus and kulen


  • 300g of clams
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 60g of kulen
  • 100ml of wine
  • 150ml dashi or stock
  • bit of parsley


Clean the clams and dice the kulen into small cubes. Chop the garlic and parsley. Heat olive oil in a pan, add the kulen, and fry for a few minutes until it releases fat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute. Then add the clams, cover them with wine until it evaporates and pour dashi or fish stock. Cover and let it cook until the clams open. Finally, add parsley. Sauté the cleaned asparagus in a little butter and salt until soft, add a bit of lime zest, and then serve it with the clams and a little dill. Enjoy your meal!