Ljubljana’s culinary offer is gaining international recognition, as demonstrated by accolades such as the shortlist ranking for the prestigious The Best Food Destination title. The title will be awarded as part of the International Travel & Tourism Awards presented at one of the world’s most important tourism fairs, World Travel Market in London. The award ceremony almost coincides with the opening of the festival, which is eagerly anticipated by both residents of and visitors to Ljubljana. Taking place in one city and under a single brand, November Gourmet Ljubljana brings together a diverse and varied culinary offer based on the principle of sustainability.
Locally-sourced and seasonal breakfast
In addition to discovering the best ways to sample culinary delights in good company, the festival highlights the importance of healthy eating. With its Green Supply Chains project, Ljubljana was shortlisted for The Best Food Destination 2019 title by an international jury. Launched by Ljubljana Tourism, the project advances the mission of developing sustainable tourism and improving the city for both locals and guests from abroad.
One delicious Green Supply Chains experience is the Ljubljana Breakfast, which will be featured during the first week of the November Gourmet Ljubljana. Between 4 and 10 November, selected restaurants and cafés in the city (Gostilna na Gradu, Hiša pod Gradom, Bistro Ek, Magda, Sputnik, Falafel, Paninoteka, Slovenska hiša, Slovenska hiša Figovec, Moji štruklji, Grand café Ljubljana, Kodila in Landerik) will highlight locally-produced, seasonal dishes for every taste, which will be marked on the menu. Breakfasts such as these are part of the regular menu in many of the selected establishments and reflect the everyday range of quality on offer.
The Locally Grown Food Exchange is another initiative of Green Supply Chains, and 14 November will be a great opportunity to learn about its operation. Starting at 10:00 at the ABC Accelerator in BTC, the event will primarily aim to link local producers with caterers, hoteliers, schools, kindergartens and other businesses in an effort to increase the use of locally-sourced produce. The Locally Grown Food Exchange provides an opportunity to meet the suppliers of healthy food produced in the Ljubljana region.
Is beer the new wine?
Events aimed at turning the spotlight on wines and beers produced in Slovenia will be another of the festival’s highlights. The traditional Ljubljana Wine Route – St Martin’s Day in Ljubljana will take place in the Old Town on 9 November. Around 90 winemakers and food producers will offer tastings of more than 450 wines and plenty of St Martin’s delicacies with the Taste Ljubljana label. The event will also feature a cultural and arts program.
The traditional, 22nd Slovenian Wine Festival (14 and 15 November), taking place at Cankarjev dom, will bring together experts and wine producers, while enthusiasts can learn more about wines and wine culture in general. For in-depth wine knowledge, the Little Wine School, led by wine expert Mira Šemić, will present sensory wine analysis (28 November).
Did you know that as of 2018, there were up to 87 breweries in Slovenia producing 93 million liters of beer? With the growing trend of microbreweries, Slovenian craft beers are also attracting attention. In line with this phenomenon, the Lajbah pub will dedicate three evening events to beer appreciation – a panel talk (13 November) and two dinner events pairing various dishes with beer (20 November), as well as with both wine and beer (27 November).
Culinary walking tours
Every Friday and Saturday during November Gourmet Ljubljana, Ljubljana Tourism will organize guided culinary tours, which are part of its regular offer of Ljubljana tours and experiences.
The Taste Ljubljana tour guides visitors through the city’s food culture and its historical heritage, featuring tastings of traditional Ljubljana dishes. Those taking part in the Ljubljana Beer Experience can sample a variety of local beers and learn about the rich history of brewing in Ljubljana. And for wine lovers, there is the Ljubljana Wine Experience showcasing Slovenia as one of the world’s best (and yet to be discovered) wine countries with tastings of nine wines from three regions. Let’s Meet at the Market, the newest Ljubljana Tourism experience, immerses visitors into Ljubljana’s vibrant central market, touring the stalls of local vendors offering fresh produce and unique goods. At the end of the tour, visitors are treated to the Ljubljana Breakfast, prepared from ingredients that they learned about at the market.
Ljubljana Lunch with classic Slovenian pop songs and themed dinners
The festival will also feature boutique events such as themed lunches and dinners by innovative chefs.
Every Sunday in November welcoming aromas will fill Bistro Švicarija in Tivoli Park, where the Ljubljana Sunday Lunch will be served accompanied by classic hits from the golden age of Slovenian pop music. Evergreen tunes and duck – Bistro Švicarija will also serve a unique, five-course St Martin’s Dinner with Slovenian pop songs (9 November). Dinner will be followed by a party with DJ Udo Brenner.
Lovers of meat can indulge in the seven-course Winner, Winner, Beef Dinner themed dinner at the Rashushka Food Studio (2 and 7 November), organized by Meat Business and Karakter Distillery. The same venue will feature two dinners cooked by the 19-year-old chef Tin Hadžić Žorž. He will prepare the 50th jubilee dinner entitled Cook My Life (9 November) and the themed dinner A Fine History: Ancient Rome, which will introduce ancient cuisine to the modern palate (23 November).
The Kočerja (21 November) will unite Polona Klačnik Pola, a teacher and lecturer on artisanal bread making and other delicacies made with wild yeast (such as sourdough), and Chef Kamala with a culinary approach based on plants, spices, and fragrances.
Polona Klačnik Pola and Chef Kamala will also lead two workshops at the Rashushka Food Studio. The first will demonstrate healthy bread-making techniques well-known to our grandmothers (November 15), while Chef Kamala’s Spice Up Your Life workshop will show participants how to use bold spices from around the world (November 30).
Lastly, the Latte Art coffee and tea brewing workshop will combine a discussion and hands-on session on how to brighten your morning coffee (November 16).
The new Ljubljana gourmet guide
The 66th Slovenian Hospitality and Tourism Convention (11 to 13 November), a nation-wide meeting of experts, will also be held in the capital during November Gourmet Ljubljana. The convention will include a variety of events such as live competitions, a walk through the flavors of Slovenia, lectures, and a charity gala dinner featuring top chefs Igor Jagodic, Jure Tomič and Tomaž Kavčič, with a wine selection by Mira Šemić. Convention participants will learn about the Ljubljana Breakfast, as well as the updated, second edition of the Gault & Millau Slovenia culinary guide, which will also be presented.
Another of this year’s highlights is the special culinary guide dedicated to Ljubljana. The Gault & Millau Ljubljana / Ljubljana Quality special issue will be launched on 22 November at the November Gourmet Finale held at the City of Design, Dunajska cesta 123 in Ljubljana. In addition to the culinary focus, the special issue will present other interesting highlights, thus helping both locals and visitors in navigating the variety of experiences offered by the city.
The New Taste of Ljubljana and prize competition
Ljubljana’s most delicious festival will culminate in the November Gourmet Finale, which will take place at the City of Design, Dunajska cesta 123 (22 November). The evening promises a host of outstanding experiences and creations by Ljubljana’s top chefs, as well as relaxed mingling with both culinary connoisseurs and enthusiasts.
As part of the event, a special jury will choose the New Taste of Ljubljana competition winner. The competition is open to anyone who submits an original recipe using prescribed ingredients and uploads a photo of the dish to https: //gourmet-lj.si between 2 and 13 November. Online voting will be held between 14 and 20 November, and a professional jury will shortlist three finalists, who will be announced on 21 November. At the November Gourmet Finale, the three finalists will compete for the title of the winner.
Between 2 and 30 November, the My Gourmet Ljubljana prize competition for the best culinary photo will take place on the @gourmet_ljubljana Instagram profile. Anyone can participate in the competition by sharing their Ljubljana food photos on their Instagram profile using the #gourmetlj hashtag. The competition committee will choose winners every week and announce them on Thursdays on the @gourmet_ljubljana Instagram profile.
Reserve your time this November for the finest gourmet experience – all in one city.
Enjoy a host of events and discover why Ljubljana is considered one of the world’s top culinary destinations.
More information: https://gourmet-lj.si/