The European Food Summit is an event that, alongside boutique gems, innovative individuals and all the others pushing the boundaries in the world of tourism, gastronomy and entrepreneurship, consolidates Slovenia's position on the global gastronomic map and sets new milestones in the field of sustainable food systems. This year, the event took place from 5 to 7 November and hosted a number of outstanding speakers from Slovenia and abroad, as well as local and global media.
The unforgettable three-day programme of the European Food Summit consisted of outstanding events in and around Ljubljana (Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl and Ljubljana Soul Chefs, Symposium and Experience Dinner) and across Slovenia (Feel Slovenia day trips). Everyone who experienced it - either as an ambassador of their remarkable and inspiring story or as a guest - was extremely impressed by what Slovenia has to offer.
At Saturday's unforgettable culinary exploration of the capital city of Ljubljana, the Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl, the participants were served by the recognisable ladies of the JRE Slovenia restaurants, under the patronage of the event's partner, Ljubljana Tourism. At the unique Oblak Miha Florist Gallery and the Kapela Hall, Sara Kavčič (Gostilna pri Lojzetu, Michelin-starred restaurant) welcomed the guests with an amuse-bouche. Patrizia Bevčič (Rizibizi, Michelin recommendation) served the amuse-bouche at the Bankarium and Nina Čarman (Gostilna Danilo) at the DobraVaga Gallery. Barbara Košir (Grič, Michelin star and Michelin green star) spoiled the guests with her main course in the beautiful surroundings of the City Hall, and Martina Breznik (Hiša Raduha) at the exceptional Ljubljana City Museum. Sabina Repovž (Gostilna Repovž, BIB Gourmand and Michelin Green Star) took the guests into the sweet world of illusions with her dessert served at the House of Illusions. The House of Good Wines, Koželj, provided the selected wine accompaniments to the inspiring dishes. The crawl finished at the Maxi Passage, where a special culinary-art performance inspired by the uniqueness of women, in collaboration with the culinary masters of Jezeršek Catering, was provided by artist and illustrator Mitja Bokun, together with a cup of Barcaffe coffee.
On Saturday evening, in partnership with Ljubljana Tourism, the main happening moved to the outskirts of Ljubljana, where inspiring family stories were brought to the fore: Mojca Mihovec with her family (Gostilna Mihovec), Luka Košir with his family (Grič, Michelin star and Michelin green star) and Luka Jezeršek with his family (Dvor Jezeršek, Michelin recommendation) delighted guests by serving them traditional Slovenian dishes, including the Slovenian potica and homemade bread from the bread oven, as well as sausages and other exceptional local dishes.
On Sunday, 29 journalists from 15 different countries, writing for the world's most influential media such as Falstaff, El Pais, Der Standard, Food and Travel, BBC Food Programme and others, discovered unique boutique gastronomy and entrepreneurship stories. The Feel Slovenia press trips were co-hosted and organised by the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) and based on sustainable and circular principles and a sincere connection between local producers and top chefs, creating a better tomorrow for all. They learned about four different Slovenian regions, their characteristics and the culinary stories of the chefs and local producers. The journey to the south-west of Slovenia started with a visit to Špacapanova Hiša (recommended by Michelin), where the journalists visited their wine cellar and a vinegar production facility, in addition to tasting traditional Karst dishes.
They continued on to the boutique Golden Ring Cheese Factory and finished the day with dinner at the Faladur Restaurant. The second group stopped for lunch at the new Lalu Bistro in Celje, where Marko Pavčnik served them, delicious dishes made with local ingredients that have been present in the area since the Middle Ages. In this spirit, the culinary experience continued at the Old Castle of Celje, where, in addition to dessert, the journalists were treated to a count's reception prepared by the Celeia Institute.
At Kocbek, an oil mill with a rich tradition of pumpkin oil processing, they tasted oils and, on the recommendation of the event partner SPIRIT Slovenia, listened to a presentation of the sustainable entrepreneurial stories of the Kokol Wine House and Zavod Jeej. The third group first visited Hiša Raduha in Savinja Valley, where young herbalists (Magical herbs of the Savinja Valley, Slovenia Unique Experience) also presented themselves, and ended with an exquisite dinner at Vila Planinka in Jezersko. The fourth group visited the wine-growing region of Posavje and, in cooperation with KŠTM Sevnica, tasted local wines at the Sevnica Castle and got to know local salami and cheese producers. Afterwards, they were given a presentation of the Pavlič fish farm at Rajhenburg Castle, tasted Kuney chocolates and sampled sparkling wines from their Sparkling Wines Bar (Peninoteka). They finished with a presentation of organic salami production by David Lesar (BioSing) and dinner by Jure Tomič (Debeluh, recommended by Michelin).