Masters of Flavours

When visionary ingenuity and flavours evocative of home are presented on a plate

Chef Vračko's dishes by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

Slovenian gastronomy is closely connected with what nature and the diverse regions of this green country provide. From the fertile plains cultivated by diligent farmers to the mysterious forest riches gathered by experienced foragers, from pastures on plateaus

These have been recognised by Michelin evaluators, who awarded their coveted stars and other recognitions to Slovenian restaurants for the second time in 2021, including their green stars recognising sustainable gastronomy. Meet the award-winning Slovenian chefs and their genuine connection with the environment from where their culinary creations originate.

Chef Ana Roš in the kitchen by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

Chef Ana Roš, Hiša Franko, Kobarid ⭐️⭐️

Far away from busy roads, deep in the valleys of the Soča and Nadiža, there stands the rosy homestead in which Ana Roš creates. The former skier and diplomacy student is a self-taught chef who in her culinary expression and creation of menus has long been  inspired by the valley and people who co-exist with her and produce local specialties in this distinctive region. 

Chef Roš' dish by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

There, anything from vegetables to meadow shoots is fermented in various jars, while others store yeast from which fresh bread is baked every day. Fish are farmed with special care, cheeses full of character mature and top-level biodynamic wines wait forthe right moment (and dish). The harmony of nature, hard work and a touch of ingenuity has brought renowned accolades to the valley – including two Michelin stars.

Chef Luka Košir by Suzan GabrijanSlovenian Tourist Board

Chef Luka Košir, Gostišče Grič, Horjul ⭐️

Taking you from Ljubljana to this picturesque cabin on the edge of the forest is a winding and steeply climbing road. If you feel unsure about where you are, simply stop in the village and the locals will proudly show you the right way to the kitchen where their Luka creates. 

The former pizza restaurant (where a pizza or two still gets baked for the locals) has lately been acclaimed, first quietly and then ever more loudly, as a mandatory stopover for gastronomy enthusiasts, although it is a bit removed from the centre of Ljubljana.

Chef Luka Košir in the woods by Suzan GabrijanSlovenian Tourist Board

Most of the food that finds its way to the plates there is grown nearby. In the nearby greenhouse, in the garden below the cabin, in the nearby forests or in the local barn, in the field or on pastures. It’s no wonder that as much as 80% of the fruit and  vegetables that chef Luka uses for his dishes is locally produced. What is not used immediately is kept in storage – by means of fermentation, drying, salting and pickling. Nature on a plate with one Michelin star.

Chef Gregor Vračko with a local farmer by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

Chef Gregor Vračko, Hiša Denk, Zgornja Kungota ⭐️

At the other side of Slovenia, heading out from Maribor towards the border with Austria, chef Gregor reigns in this wood-clad house. Modest with words and generous with dishes that charm with both their appearance and their taste. Hiša Denk suggests a close close connection with the natural environment right away due to its interior, which will make you feel as if you’re sitting high amidst the treetops.

Detail of the plate, chef Gregor Vračko by Ciril Jazbec, Tent FilmSlovenian Tourist Board

🌿Nature also leaves its mark on plates. Carefully structured dishes are a colourful combination of ingredients, textures and flavours, with the most interesting aspect being that the chef's most favourite ingredient is - water. He says that everything originates from water and everything goes into water.

Chef Jorg Zupan, Atelje, Ljubljana ⭐️

Chef Jorg Zupan by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

Jorg Zupan is that tattooed chef who you may see in the Ljubljana Central Market riding his skateboard. His bold casualness and slightly rebellious character in the kitchen is complemented by rigorous precision and high standards which he creatively blends into a succession of dishes that express his nature. A little bit of Jorg, and a little bit of the other team members.

Chef Jorg Zupan in the kitchen by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

As much as 90% of the food served to guests in Atelje is prepared right there. Desserts, which always surprise and are always seasonal – for example, black tea panna cotta with compressed persimmon and whiskey gel, are an experience in themselves. 

Chef Uroš Štefelin by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

Chef Uroš Štefelin, Vila Podvin, Mošnje pri Radovljici ⭐️

Chef Uroš Štefelin, who writes his award-winning culinary story in harmony with the local community, knows something about taking from and giving back to the environment. 

His story is about local producers who, on the wings of his success, work better themselves and, like him, explore and look for new approaches to traditional growing and rearing.

Štefelin's dish by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

From these ingredients, the chef prepares his signature dishes, while never forgetting to note from where those ingredients are sourced. The trout is Zupan's, the red polenta is Mrkot's, and the chicken is Šlibar's ...

Chef Tomaž Kavčič by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

Chef Tomaž Kavčič, Gostilna pri Lojzetu, Zemono ⭐️

Did you know that the Vipava Valley is also called a paradise valley? This is where grapes that award-winning winemakers turn into top-level wines grow in the bora wind. Dry-cured meat and other delicacies characteristic of the Vipava Valleyacquire their flavour in this very specific environment. And precisely in the middle of the valley, in the picturesque Zemono Manor, embraced by trees, is where chef Tomaž Kavčič creates.

Chef Kavčič's dish by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

This environment is the most important ingredient for him, and from it he draws inspiration to create unpredictable dishes and others yet to be. A visit to the Gostilna pri Lojzetu Restaurant is a true show for the senses, full of amazing moments, which reach their pinnacle when your taste buds recognise and connect the flavours into a unique and innovative experience.

Chef Uroš Fakuč in the kitchen by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

Chef Uroš Fakuč, Dam Restaurant, Nova Gorica⭐️

Expect the unexpected! A relaxed atmosphere, illuminated by the most renowned star, reigns in Nova Gorica, the city just on the border with Italy. 

There, in the eponymous restaurant of the boutique Dam Hotel, chef Uroš Fakuč demonstrates the innovativeness of his culinary techniques, combinations of flavours, ambience and music, which take guests on a completely unpredictable journey. 

Chef Fakuč's dish by Ciril JazbecSlovenian Tourist Board

Among the main stars of his dishes are fish – reared and caught as close to the restaurant as possible – while also awaiting guests is an extensive wine list with more than 500 labels. 

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