Unforgettable culinary walk
On Saturday Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl took visitors to eight different cultural and historical sights in Ljubljana, where culinary creations of the top chefs from the JRE Slovenia association were served. The starting point was marked by Luka Košir (Grič, Michelin star), one of the most promising chefs of the younger generation, at the Slovenian Tourist Information Center (STIC). From there on the guests enjoyed meals crafted by Marko Magajne (Galerija okusov, Plate Michelin) at the Dobra vaga gallery, Jorg Zupan (Atelje, Michelin Star, in Breg), the youngest two-time Michelin star recipient, at the Town Hall, Nina Čarman (Danilo – restaurant & wine, Plate Michelin) at the Natural History Museum of Slovenia, Jure Tomič (Ošterija Debeluh, Plate Michelin) at the House of Illusions, Miha Dolinar (Mama Marija/Skipass) at the Bankarium, the Slovenian Banking Museum and Leon Pintarič (Gostilna Rajh, BIB Gourmand) at Ljubljana's Križanke, Peklensko dvorišče. The culinary walk was concluded at Ljubljana Castle where Jernej Bende (MaK Restaurant, Plate Michelin) prepared a special dessert.
Chef tandems that inspired
Ljubljana Soul Chefs event presented three duets of chefs at three different restaurants in Ljubljana: PEN KLUB, Gostilna na Gradu and JB Restaurant. Selection of dishes prepared from the local ingredients was accompanied by Hiša dobrih vin - Koželj (the House of good wines) choice of wines.
The first tandem at PEN KLUB consisted of Jakob Pintar (TaBar, BIB Gourmand), the only Slovenian who managed to break through among the finalists of the prestigious San Pellegrino competition for the best young chef in the world, and Mojmir Šiftar (PEN KLUB), former captain of the youth culinary team and semi-finalist of the prestigious selection S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2018. Gregor Jelnikar (Monstera, Plate Michelin), under the mentorship of Bine Volčič, and Sebastjan Elbl (Gostilna na Gradu, BIB Gourmand), under the baton of Luka Jezeršek was the second culinary couple at Gostilna na Gradu. The third pair at JB Restaurant was composed by Igor Jagodic (Strelec, Plate Michelin) and the pioneer of modern Slovenian cuisine, Janez Bratovž (Restaurant JB, Plate Michelin).
Addressing serious issues od the industry
The curator, Andrea Petrini, with the help of the renowned Slovenian master chef Ana Roš and the organizer Martin Jezeršek, assembled a group of top-notch speakers from various fields of expertise, ranging from art critics to microbiologists.
Some provocative and forward thinking ideas on reducing greenhouse emissions and making culinary world more sustainable were discussed by Beti Vidmar from the Biotechnical Faculty of Ljubljana, chef Rebecca Clopath (Switzerland) and Marie-Claude Lortie (Le Droit, Canada), whereas Angél León (Aponiente, Spain) presneted the sea farms as the future solution. The problematics of fine dining were shown in the first-person documentary by chef Colombe Saint Piere (Chez St-Pierre, Canada). Fine Dining Lovers, the magazine for foodies, René Redzepi (Noma, Denmark) and writer John Lanchester from the UK highlighted the path gastronomy took in times of Covid-19 pandemic.
Andraž Tuš (Engrotuš) shared his story of working with Ana Roš in bringing a dedicated local line of products to the market, and it was Ana Roš who also hosted the round table focusing specifically on food producers, exposing their struggle to survive. Other Slovenians from the industry - Irena Orešnik (Sirarstvo Orešnik), Mitja Zupan (Zupan fish farm) - also raised some questions regarding the difficulties they experience with their business. The attendees also got a chance to hear first-hand a story of a couple, Jeanne Dumas Chalifour and Matteo Monterumis, who took on extreme biodynamic gardening in the hills of Slovenia. Some of the more interdisciplinary opinions in terms of gender issues and burnouts, were covered by Parabere Forum's Maria Canabal (France), Nicolai Nørregaard (Kadeau, Denmark) and Hugo McCafferty, while art critic Nicolas Bourriaud (France) presented how art world intertwines with food.
Art plates in Cukrarna Gallery
Sympossium was followed by a special Experience dinner at the Cukrarna Gallery. 8-course menu brought together all Slovenian Michelin star recipients: Ana Roš (Hiša Franko, two Michelin stars), Gregor Vračko (Hiša Denk, Michelin star), Tomaž Kavčič (Pri Lojzetu, Michelin star), Uroš Štefelin (Vila Podvin, Michelin star), Uroš Fakuč (Dam, Michelin star), Jorg Zupan (Atelje, Michelin star) and Luka Košir (Grič, Michelin star). The plates, resembling art works, were assembled while the favorite songs of every chef as played in the background.