It is no coincidence that the European gastronomic paths of recent years lead to Slovenia. Thus, this spring, Slovenia shall host the European Food Summit, one of the most important European culinary events for the second time, with even more illustrious names and stronger international media coverage.
European Food Summit, which shall take place between 28th and 30th March is more than merely a top culinary event. It spreads awareness on the global impacts of food and brings together the world's top chefs and extraordinary individuals from the culinary, arts and media fields. Through their stories, they shall inspire and encourage us to think forward and work toward a better and more sustainable alimentary future.
Unlike other similar events, the organizer Jezeršek Catering, in cooperation with partners, Slovenian Tourist Board and Turizem Ljubljana, wishes to step higher and offer concrete solutions in which each individual has a role. “The vision of the European Food Summit has never been clearer. I wish this summit would inspire each individual to think about how he can create a better future and give them concrete solutions on how their actions can change their attitude towards food”, explains Martin Jezeršek, event organizer and Managing Director at Jezeršek gostinstvo d.o.o.
The fact that the European Food Summit is crucial both in creating a sustainable future for Europe as in the development of Slovenian gastronomy is emphasized also by Maja Pak, M.A., Director of Slovenian Tourist Board (STB): “Slovenian tourism has come to the conclusion that the only right way to development is sustainability. This is demonstrated, among other things, by the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, the national program and the certification scheme, which has just welcomed its 100th bearer of the Slovenia Green label. We would also like to extend the scheme to the field of gastronomy since it is an important factor in shaping a quality present and future for ourselves through its daily impact on the health of the environment and humans, and the creation of various synergies. This is also one of the main topics of the project Slovenia - European Gastronomic Region of 2021, supported by over 60 different partners. Our gastronomic excellence is also evidenced by the arrival of world-renowned guides Michelin and Gault&Millau. It is important that we show the world our excellent sustainable practices in gastronomy in different ways, and the European Food Summit, in which STB is participating, is an effective way of promoting them in a targeted and strategic way. It is imperative that the importance of gastronomy for our lives and health and the opportunity to taste the creations of the world's best chefs is brought closer to both foreign and domestic public, and this summit is definitely the right way to do it.”
At the peak of the event, Monday's symposium, which shall take place at the beautiful Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, the keynote speakers this year are those who speak through action and will contribute to global thinking in the field of nutrition in a broader context, namely Joan Roca, a culinary genius from Spain who sets new trends in gastronomy; Vladimir Mukhin, one of the most influential Russian chefs, who delved into old recipes and set up a new Russian cuisine; Nicolai Nørregaard, one of the first pioneers and ambassadors of the Nordic cuisine movement, as well as Colombe Saint-Pierre, one of Canada's most recognized chefs; Brazilian chef of German-Japanese roots Alberto Landgraf, who is creating his success story with one of the best restaurants in Rio de Janeiro these days; Keti Berishvili, a Georgian winemaker who, with every single drop of wine produced according to the ancient method in amphorae buried in the ground, proves to belong at the very top; winemaker Sylvie Augereau, the champion of the French natural wine revolution; a world-renowned art critic, Nicolas Bourriaud, who has proven that culinary is an art, by bringing together renowned artists and top chefs. In addition, non-profit organization MAD Executive Director Melina Shannon-DiPietro, who for nineteen years has been creating programs, fostering public dialogue and takes part in partnerships influencing our understanding of food, the community and the environment. Also, Canadian journalist, writer and activist Marie-Claude Lortie, who in her latest book emphasizes the importance of supporting local and natural or organic agriculture. Maria Canabal, an award-winning French journalist, founder and president of the Parabere Forum, where women are primarily given the voice, and crowned with the title of the most influential woman in gastronomy. In addition, John Lanchester, one of the most prominent British writers and one of the most unique and non-classical culinary writers. Lisa Abend, an American journalist and writer who has even been awarded for her contribution to what a circus gastronomy has become, and Nicolas Gill, a photographer exploring the boundaries and possibilities of American cuisine. Finally, exceptional Slovenian speakers will not leave us indifferent to their unique stories.
Invited guests, speakers and representatives of international media will be first to taste the fact that numerous unique stories on a global scale are written in Slovenia, in addition to learning about the country and its gastronomic diversity. Sunday excursions shall leave the door open for the foreign media into the stories of inspirational individuals who are pushing the boundaries in the world of gastronomy. It is right there, that the guests will be able to feel the growers’ and winemakers’ authenticity, experienced on the plate of a top chef.
At the European Food Summit, all culinary enthusiasts will meet their expectations by satisfying their culinary passion at numerous accompanying events on Saturday and Sunday, which will take place in Ljubljana, one of the best culinary destinations in the world. Petra Stušek, M.A., Director of Turizem Ljubljana states that: “High quality and varied gastronomic offer in Ljubljana enhances the locals’ quality of life and provides an unforgettable experience for domestic and foreign visitors. At Turizem Ljubljana, we strive to offer as many seasonal and local dishes as possible, preferably prepared according to the traditional Ljubljana recipe. At this year's European Food Summit, the best chefs will take charge of this again, even outside their own kitchens.”
European Food Summit 2020 will thus begin with a special edition of the Open Kitchen, the most popular culinary market. The introduction at the amazing ambiance of The Križanke Summer Theatre in Ljubljana shall be prepared by selected caterers, who in collaboration with their local growers and suppliers, will share their joint success stories. They shall prove to you that good cooperation and quality ingredients may create divine flavors.
Anyone who wishes to experience the cuisine, culture and architecture of a city on one plate will take their taste buds to Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl for a unique culinary exploration of the cultural temples and Ljubljana city sights. At several spots across town, Slovenian chefs of the JRE association (Jeunes Restaurateurs) will prepare top-quality authentic dishes from local ingredients, served with selected wines by best Slovenian winemakers.
The history of Slovenian gastronomy will be written at the annually sold-out Experience Dinner. Just before the European Food Summit, the prestigious Michelin guide shall cross the threshold of Slovenia for the first time and the very best-rated Slovenian chefs will join forces and prepare masterpieces to take the guests into the future of flavors.
Sunday will make time for an unforgettable adventure. Top Ljubljana chefs, among which Igor Jagodic and Janez Bratovž, Jorg Zupan and Mojmir Šiftar, Jakob Pintar and Andrea Odogaso, shall join their culinary souls at the Ljubljana Soul Chefs event. Matched in tandems, they will prepare a one-of-a-kind 4-course menu from local ingredients in three Ljubljana restaurants.
It is a fact that good food is more than just a matter of good taste. Therefore, the future as the land of milk and honey must be cooked up by ourselves. It is time to bring more to the table!