Ivan Buzolić has probably always known that his life would be marked by aromatic spices, natural ingredients and original, imaginative culinary creations. Since his early youth, his playgrounds have been the kitchens of renowned restaurants, not only in Hvar and Croatia, but also in Europe. Having owned his own restaurants, where he honed his craft, in 2001 he reopened the doors of Hvar's cult restaurant, Zlatna školjka (The Golden Shell), turning it into the first slow food restaurant in this part of Croatia.
Many awards and other forms of recognition, competition results, and visits of eminent gastro-experts and distinguished guests from all over the world are testament for the supreme quality of the cuisine, but also for Ivan in his role as chef.
In addition to his work at the restaurant, where he is always actively involved, confirming his mantra that a good restaurant cannot be good if the head chef is not a part of the kitchen, he has also devoted his time to active participation in various artisan and catering associations, as well as the chefs' union where he has actively promoted and marketed the island, the county and the region. He is the initiator and organiser of all the gastro-competitions on the island of Hvar, confirming his love not only for gastronomy, but for the promotion of the island itself.
For the last few years, he has been the leader of SKMER's (Association of Chefs from Mediterranean and European Regions) team at international competitions, where he has also worked as a judge. His crowning moment of success came this year, when he gained the WACS judges' diploma in Istanbul, becoming Croatia's first internationally accredited gastro-judge.
In his long and rich career, Ivan has accomplished many goals. We list but a few:
- Long term president of the City of Hvar's Union of caterers and tourist employees, part of the Artisans' union of Hvar
- Long term member of the Guild of caterers and tourist employees of the Regional Artisans Chamber of the Split-Dalmatia county
- Initiator and organiser of the gastro-event "Dobar kus", in Hvar, since 2007.
- Initiator of the gastro-event "Bon-pro" in Stari Grad since 2008
- Initiator of the gastro-event "Bonkulović" in Jelsa, since 2010
- Participant in all activities of the County Caterers association which take place outside the county, in order to promote Hvar
- Organiser of the Gastro Exibition at the Caterers' Congress 2010 in Bol, with an acclaimed presentation from the Hvar team before about a thousand colleagues from the whole country
- Prominent member of SKMER (ACMER - Association of Chefs of the Mediterranean and European Regions) - status Master Chef 1st order
- Honorary member of the European Association of Chefs
He participated in many culinary competitions in Croatia and abroad, has won numerous awards:
- Judge at local and international tournaments since 2009
- 2009.g. Makarska, Split (Croatia), Istanbul (Turkey), Beograd (Serbia);
- 2010. g. Split, Makarska,(Croatia), Istanbul (Turkey), Budva (Montenegro), Baku (Aserbaijan), Supetar (Croatia);
- 2011.g. Chisinau (Moldova), Beograd (Serbia), Istanbul (Turkey), Miločer (Montenegro), Supetar (Croatia)
- Organiser of presentations about Island of Hvar at all events he attends abroad
- Gained the World Association of Chefs Societies - WACS Judges' school diploma this year and became the first Croat to hold a WACS certificate