CHEF CONCIERGE • June 2019
Ana Roš is the self-taught triumph responsible for planting Slovenia on the culinary map. Working in one of the country’s most beautiful valleys at the helm of Hiša Franko – her debut restaurant run with sommelier husband Valter Kramar – the Slovenian star talks about her favourite homegrown flavours
Breakfast worth waking up early for
Slovenians tend to get up early and eat breakfast at home, but if I do find myself in the capital Ljubljana first thing in the morning, I’ll eat at Bistro Ek. Very new age and very bohemian, one section of the menu is dedicated totally to eggs, including its incredible jajca benedict s šunko – eggs Benedict with ham. Delicious.
Best food market
Take a romantic walk along the Ljubljanica River towards the Triple Bridge and, finally, arrive at Ljubljanska Tržnica market. It’s an impressive place, packed with producers from across Slovenia and elderly ladies selling their wares. It’s wonderfully colourful, crammed with freshly picked cherries, apricots, apples and more. Head here on a Saturday and look out for the Dovs family, who run a stall of farm-grown root vegetables that we use in the restaurant.
Ana's advice: grab some fresh produce from Ljubljanska Tržnica market to take on your sightseeing adventures
The castle coffee shop
Our coffee culture is rapidly growing, with cafés emerging across the city. One of my favourites is Cokl, a little shop by the funicular station that takes you to Ljubljana Castle. Cokl is the name of the shop and the owner, who’s passionate about sourcing the best organic coffee from around the world. Having had your flat white, you’ll be ready for a walk around the castle.
The authentic eaterie
Gostilna Skaručna (pictured below) is a crazy place where traditional food is made with a great sense of humour. The owner, Slavko, has one of the biggest collections of vinyl you’ve ever seen, and drives around in an American Cadillac to source the best meat for the restaurant. You’re fuelled through several hours of dining – a meal can take up to nine hours – by plenty of schnapps.
The bar for a post-dinner drink
Slovenians love organic wine and one of the best places to sample it in Ljubljana is at Ta Bar. Along with some sweet Marko Fon wine (he’s my favourite producer in the region), it has a great range of local tipples, served alongside a menu of artisanal tapas.
An innovative restaurant with an inspiring chef
Chef Luka Košir is a super-talented chef – not yet 35 years old, the father of four runs an incredible restaurant (pictured below) tucked away in pretty woodland. It’s a family affair – his sisters are the pastry chef, sous chef and sommelier, and the place was built by their father. Luka is a very creative chef – on my last visit I had a sublime dessert based on bitter chicory root, parsnip and hazelnut. Order the tasting menu, sit back and enjoy the experience.
The classic foodie souvenir
Slovenian honey and pumpkin oil can be found at several small shops throughout Ljubljana. We’re also well known for our salt production – chefs such as Thomas Keller and Alain Ducasse have been known to favour it. Most of all though, you’ll want to get your hands on some štruklji, a sweet or savoury dough ball that’s a huge delicacy here. If you want the best in the city, try the ones at the castle restaurant, Na Gradu.
Interview by Hannah Ralph
Ana Roš is the chef behind Hiša Franko, the award-winning restaurant with rooms in the Soča Valley, currently listed as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants