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On 30 November, at the very end of the fifth November Gourmet Ljubljana festival, three finalists of the New Taste of Ljubljana 2021 competition went up against one another in the Kult316 kitchen. Victory went to Brina Robinik Kobal with her recipe entitled Dragon Plate (Slov. Zmajski krožnik).

Because food is a story born out of tradition, the latter was also the foundation of this year’s call to participate in the competition. Pumpkin, apples, buckwheat kasha and cottage cheese have already served as inspiration to the creator of the New Taste of Ljubljana 2018, Bruno Šulman, who this year appeared as a jury member along with Tomaž Leben, head of the Kult316 Culinary and Tourism Centre, and Valentina Smej Novak, author of culinary books and a publisher.

The contestants had to use at least three of the listed ingredients in their respective dishes, and were free to build upon them according to their own inspiration, whereby the dish had to be achievable and repeatable both at home and in a restaurant kitchen. The jury also rated the harmony of flavours, presentation and the story behind the dish.

On her Dragon Plate, Brina Robinik Kobal combined roast beef with wine sauce, pumpkin puree and a raviolo stuffed with cottage cheese, caramelised onion, apple and walnuts. This perfectly harmonised and masterfully balanced plate expressed an intense, fragrant winter story, conjuring up a festive atmosphere and the birth a one-of-a-kind flavour that we would love to encounter many times more over the coming weeks.

David Perčič created the Duck in Company (Slov. Raca v družbi) plate, where the duck fillet was accompanied by apples cooked in beeswax, štruklji foam, aromatic sauce and an incredible bread puree; the jury was delighted by the rationally used and even partly recycled ingredients, which meant that the duck really was accompanied by its best friends.

Boštjan Volk created a Home-style Dessert (Slov. Sladica po domače): on the visually most perfected plate, Volk allowed the slightly unusual dessert ingredients to speak for themselves, resulting in a delicate and finely tuned dish,
soothing to both the eyes and taste buds.

Congratulations to all contestants for their creativity, knowledge and skills! We wish them many pleasurable cooking experiences to come! We are certain that we will often spot their dishes on menus, and extend our warmest thanks to them for all the effort and energy invested in the competition.

Ljubljana is now richer for its New Taste of Ljubljana 2021, and the world of Slovenian cuisine has discovered three new talents.

Ljubljana Tourism heartily thanks all the contestants for participating, jury members for their professional input, and the competition sponsor, Electrolux, for the prizes.