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Gault&Millau Awards Slovenia

Author: Vesna Žarkovič

Date: 18. March 2020

Time to read: 2 min

The world-renowned culinary guide Gault&Millau, published in Slovenia for the second year, has selected the best chef in the country, the best restaurant, chef of the future, chef of tradition, the best young talent, the best waiter and the best pastry chef in 2020. What they all have in common is that they respect tradition and the environment, and prepare their dishes in a modern, creative way and follow global guidelines.

Chef of the Year 2020 Ana Roš, Hiša Franko

What distinguishes her cuisine from others is her ability to pay homage to her home, while combining that with the right measure of inspiration from abroad to make the perfect dish. Where else would you find lamb with crab, different variations of jota (a stew with beans, sauerkraut and potatoes), trout à la meunière and čompe (potatoes) with ricotta on the same menu? Her inherent ability to blend different flavours is her strongest suit. Ana's cuisine is like the most incredible journey around the world that always leads to Staro Selo.

Best Restaurant 2020 - Gostilna pri Lojzetu

Tomaž Kavčič may have been born to be a chef, but without his passion, dedication, hard work and love for the profession, his flavours would not so playfully evoke different emotions and memories. It is the simplicity and the tradition that make his dishes great and capture the hearts of his guests. With innovation and creativity, he transformed his local cuisine into a world-renowned phenomenon. He never ceases to explore, and always strives to improve and present his guests with something new and different. Above all, he values the ethical and sustainable approach to cooking. His plates are a witty interpretation of fields, woods and vineyards. His personal but always professional attitude coupled with good prices is the winning formula that lets the guests be themselves and keeps them coming back.

Chef of the Future - Jure Tomič, Ošterija Debeluh

Service is a lot more than just the way food is brought to the table; it is a small part of the whole dining experience, is Tomič's winning formula. Everything is important, from tablecloths to glasses, from plates themselves to what is served on them, every little detail matters. He respects the traditional classic recipes, but never shies away from trying new things to combine local ingredients into even more flavourful dishes. His flavours are clean and harmonious. He seeks inspiration in his roots: the local Krškopolje pig, his neighbour's pears and local wines. As an ambassador of local wines, he likes to add another dimension to his dishes with just a touch of local wines while offering an exquisite wine list in his restaurant. The chef is also an excellent sommelier with a distinguished feeling for combining food and wine. 

Traditional Cuisine Chef 2020 - Uroš Štefelin

In the Vila Podvin restaurant, the old meets the new in a subtle way. The chef uses seasonal ingredients from his home garden and local farmers, and blends them together with modern cooking techniques. His inexhaustible creativity is, in part, also inspired by French and Mediterranean cuisines. He realised the importance of local ingredients long ago. In his kitchen, there is a special place for tepka pears: pears that are not harvested, but rather left to drop from the tree and picked when they become mellow. Along with tepka pears, he also dusted off and rebranded dishes such as pork, trout, Kaiserschmarrn, strudel and barley soup. He never runs out of ideas.

Young Talent 2020 - Jakob Pintar

He learned from the best Slovenian and European restaurants, but, even then, decided that he did not want to fit the mould of a typical chef and would go his own way in his creations. Devising his own menu was quite straightforward, maintaining the quality of each plate for the growing number of guests, however, is still a challenge. It is certain that Jakob will continue to indulge, surprise and excite us with his talent and creativity, therefore, Gault&Millau Slovenia is presenting him with the Young Talent 2020 award.

Confectioner of the Year 2020 - Ksenija Krajšek Mahorčič

She learned her craft from the top confectioners in Italy and Britain. She wanted to understand the intricacies of each ingredient and how it can be used in different ways. Her plates are, like her creations, inspirational and enticing. They are figments of her imagination – original and free. Her dishes show the utmost respect for the local seasonal ingredients and tradition that defines the land she is so proud of at the meeting point of the Brkini Hills and the Karst region. The Mahorčič restaurant celebrates the forgotten boutique masterpieces of their grandmothers, who carried their produce in baskets on their heads from the Karst edge to Trieste along the railway tracks. This is also the story Ksenija would like to tell with her tasting menu "From the sea, over the Karst edge, homewards". And all of that is reflected in her original desserts created with an abundance of love.

Waiter/Sommelier of the Year - Simon Sitar

A good waiter has to be fond of people. He appreciates that he is an important part of the whole culinary experience and knows that a waiter is not only a courier who delivers and carries food away – a waiter is also a host. A satisfied waiter makes a satisfied guest. Yet it is undeniable that a lot of work goes into good service. Gault&Millau Slovenia is working to restore the standing of the waiting profession and recognized Simon Sitar as an excellent waiter and sommelier with all the necessary skills as well as professionalism and dedication, and therefore present him with the Waiter/Sommelier of the Year award.