Nermin Hodžić

Sarajevo Will Become Your Own City!

The recent reopening of the legendary hotel Bristol in Sarajevo has prompted us to meet up for a coffee with Nermin Hodžić, the hotel’s Head Chef. Nermin, who has been cooking for the past 15 years, is in charge of Hotel Bristol’s flawless cuisine today.


In his long career Nermin has had an opportunity to cook for many celebrities and to learn from well-known world chefs. He is one of the founders of Association of Cooks/Chefs of BiH, which is a full-member of the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS) as of last year. The BH association was created to educate young people and to preserve the culinary traditions of our country. Nermin’s big wish is an appearance in the national team of BiH on the World Culinary Olimpics in Erfurt, Germany in 2012.

Nermin emphasizes that quality ingredients are the best assets of the cuisine cooked in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so it should not come as a surprise that Sarajevo is considered gastronomical capital of this part of Europe. To enjoy the traditional Bosnian cuisine, he recommends a visit to Kibe restaurant. Although, Nermin is quick to point out that Bosnian cuisine should be viewed in a wider context and not strictly through the prism of ćevapi and pite, he admits enjoying ćevapi at least once a month, usually in Petica or Hodžić.

Nermin was born in Bistrik and has a special connection to the old part of the city. He claims that Baščaršija has a special story to tell. His favorite buildings are Academy of Fine Arts (former Evangelical Church), and Husrev Bey’s and Emperor’s Mosques. The smaller mosques around the mahalas (neighborhoods) are also interesting to him, as well as the old Orthodox Church on Baščaršija.

- The thing that all these religious objects have in common is peace. And that is what people today need the most.

He says he loves Sarajevo because everything is within a hands reach, and as an argument he uses the fact that Olympic mountains are only 30 minutes away from the city. He rides his motorbike every chance he gets, and frequently visits Trebević where he enjoys long walks in the nature. 

When walking through the city, Nermin prefers the inevitable route through Ferhadija Street. He usually drinks coffee in intimate places like the Spazio café where we met him. He likes spending his time watching movies, and frequently takes his older son to Youth Theater for a children’s play. Nermin names Jazz Fest and Sarajevo Film Festival as his favorite cultural festivals.

To those visitors already here, he recommends a visit to the Tunnel of Hope and Baščaršija, while to those contemplating a visit Nermin says:

- Come to Sarajevo and it will become your own city!