How Slovenia’s dining scene upped its game

With its first Michelin stars awarded last year and a food revolution well under way, this small but gutsy nation packs a gastronomic punch, finds Justine Gosling

Friday 12 November 2021 13:30
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<p>Michelin marvels: Hisa Franko is helmed by Ana Ros, who has previously been voted the world’s best chef</p>

Michelin marvels: Hisa Franko is helmed by Ana Ros, who has previously been voted the world’s best chef

“In time of Yugoslavia, private business was banned, and producers couldn’t sell their produce. Everything produced was for the state – quality wasn’t important, it was all about quantity, and you were under pressure to produce very large amounts.”

Our guide, Jani, was explaining why Slovenia’s burgeoning high-end gastronomic scene is only just now coming to fruition. Slovenia gained independence in 1991 and joined the European Union in 2004. Once producers could sell their produce, the focus shifted from quantity to quality – and the food revolution truly began. The country was awarded its first Michelin stars in 2020 and the prestigious accolade of European region of gastronomy for 2021.

Visiting during the October harvest to learn more about the emerging foodie scene that’s increasingly attracting attention, our first stop was the Vipava Valley, about an hour’s drive from capital city, Ljubljana.

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