Slovenia has fast gained a strong reputation due to its gastronomic offer over the past couple of years and will continue to do so especially in light of its status as European Region of Gastronomy 2021. The country boasts numerous famous chefs that have put Slovenia on the world’s gastronomic map, plus an astonishing number of fantastic restaurants. No wonder it has captured the attention of Michelin Guide inspectors.
Ljubljana is also being recognised as one of the top food destinations in the world with its variety of restaurants. It also has food related offerings that display its gastronomic richness, such as the Open Market (Odprta Kuhna), featuring food from some of the best restaurants in and around Ljubljana, and food tours where you can taste typical Slovenian food.
Both Slovenia and Ljubljana received their first dedicated Gault & Millau guides this year. And finally, the first Michelin Guide for Slovenia is being launched this March! Exciting times lie ahead.
The Michelin Guide is the world’s most prestigious restaurant guide. It started out in France in 1900, the brainchild of French entrepreneurs Ándre and Édouard who had started a tyre company 11 years earlier. So yes, the people behind the Michelin tyres and the restaurant guide are the same.
The guide comes in the form of a little red book full of restaurant ratings and recommendations determined by anonymous, independent inspectors who are obsessive foodies. They assess the restaurants according to use of quality products, mastery of flavour and cooking techniques, the way the food reflects the chef’s personality, value for money, and consistency of quality and service.
The ratings come in the form of Michelin stars, which are awarded selectively to a small number of restaurants globally for outstanding quality. One star is the lowest rating, and three stars is the highest. The criteria for starred rankings are:
1 star: “A very good restaurant in its category”
2 stars: “Excellent cooking, worth a detour”
3 stars: “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”
Although the steps to earning Michelins stars are not set in stone, restaurants can work on the following in the hope of receiving those most coveted marks: meticulousness, discipline, investment in the restaurant, mastery, creativity, use of the finest ingredients, training under Michelin-starred chefs, and meeting the Michelin Guide editors to pitch their restaurant. Quite a feat!
So far, the only Slovenian restaurant to have earned a Michelin star is La Subida, which lies just across the border in Italy. With the launch of the first Michelin Guide in Slovenia in March, a number of Slovenia’s world-class chefs and their restaurants will be duly rewarded.
Some of the best names in the Slovenian culinary scene we expect to be graced by the Michelin Stars include Ana Roš at Hiša Franko, Janez Bratovž of JB Restaurant, Tomaž Kavčič at Gostilna pri Lojzetu in Zemono, Gregor Vračko at Hiša Denk and of course Igor Jagodic of Strelec at Ljubljana Castle, but only time will tell. A team of Michelin inspectors have already been dining their way across Slovenia for months, secretly judging the country’s best restaurants to see if they meet the high universal standards needed to be included in the restaurant guide.
We’re eagerly awaiting the announcements. Watch this space for news on which Slovene chefs have made it into the Michelin Guide’s high ranks!
Written by: Denise Rejec
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