How does someone become a professional skier and become one of the best chefs in the world?

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How does someone become a professional skier and become one of the best chefs in the world?
How does someone become a professional skier and become one of the best chefs in the world?

How does a professional skier become one of the best chefs in the world in a remote Slovenian village? Ana Roš knows the answer - get to know her film-worthy success story and if you want, you can meet her in Budapest at the Gourmet Festival

The 44-year-old Slovenian Ana Roš, who speaks five languages, started her career as a member of the Yugoslav ski team, then trained as a diplomat, and finally became one of the best chefs in the world almost by accident. His restaurant, Hiša Franko, operates in one of the secluded but amazingly picturesque corners of Slovenia, in an alpine landscape, but within arm's reach of the sea. The star chef will soon visit Budapest for the upcoming Gourmet Festival, we interviewed him about this.

The story

Ana Roš originally trained as a diplomat, studied international studies at the University of Trieste. Here she fell in love with V alter Kramar, whose parents owned a small restaurant called Hiša Franko. "It was a simple country inn with homely flavors. Most of the guests were Italian, because food and fuel were cheaper on this side of the border," recalls Ana Roš in a previous interview. Then 16 years ago, Kramar's parents retired, and the restaurant was left to the young people. "We decided in favor of fine dining, we wanted to offer food like the ones we tasted on our travels," says Roš in the interview quoted above. While Kramar supervised the renovation works and filled the restaurant's cellar with Slovenia's best wines, Ana Roš learned the art of cooking and got to know the traditions and ingredients of the area.

"The Hiša Franko restaurant operated in relative obscurity for a long time, until the gastronomic journalist from Paris, Alexander Lobrano (narrator of the netflix series Chef's Table, an influential restaurant critic) drew attention to it. From then on, the triumphal march was relatively unbroken, Roš's years of self-sacrificing study and work were even enough for her to be chosen as the world's best female chef at the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards in 2017 (the prize was awarded to nearly a thousand well-versed in the international restaurant scene it is awarded on the basis of a jury member's vote)" - writes the website of the Gourmet Festival.

Have you ever dreamed of becoming one of the best chefs in the world? What was the moment when you realized that your real path was not a diplomatic career, but gastronomy?

I think it is important to seize the opportunities that life offers and to follow our destiny. I never dreamed of cooking or becoming a professional chef. I was born into an intellectual family, my parents believed that their daughter would follow the family tradition and become a doctor, a lawyer or perhaps a diplomat. My decision was very difficult for my parents, my father didn't even speak to me for a while, and my mother is still cynical about my cooking. But I believe that we should follow our hearts and accept life's challenges.


Why do you think you became one of the best chefs in the world? What qualities and personality traits were essential for this?

I am very motivated, disciplined and open-minded. I believe that cooking is a complex process in which the landscape, the season and the personality of the chef also appear. When a person prepares a dish based on his own ideas, he never copies others or cooks according to rigid rules. I tell stories about my country and its customs through my dishes.

How do you feel about the label "world's best female chef"?

The title brought huge interest not only to me, but to the entire region – including Hungary. The award is for all female chefs, those who cook alongside their families, and those who have decided not to have children because they love the kitchen so much. It is terribly difficult for women, especially in my profession, to find a balance between family and career. The family needs me every day, as do the kitchen and my guests. I am happy to be a role model for those girls who also choose this profession. Last month I met some people who said that in a few years they would like to be where I am now. This filled me with pride.

When I first heard about your restaurant, I was surprised that the best restaurant in Slovenia operates in such a secluded place. Have you ever thought that you should move to Ljubljana and create the best restaurant in the capital?

We live far from the biggest suppliers, and our guests have to drive a long way to get to us. Big cities are much more convenient, but I think we are special because of our location.


Speaking of the suppliers: where do they get the raw materials from? Can you buy everything you need in the kitchen in Slovenia?

In the past 15 years, we have been able to establish a great relationship with the local producers who supply us with raw materials. We have producers on the coast, but also in the mountains. It was a long process, but absolutely worth it for all parties. For us, it's because we get fantastic products from them, all super fresh and unique. And our producers see that it makes sense to stay in the area, since they can make a living from their work. The future is bright for all of us.

Do you have a favorite food? And your favorite ingredient?

I consciously don't have any favorite foods, just like I don't have any that have become my trademark. I believe in continuous development and change. Among the ingredients, I love my husband's cheeses, especially those aged in the cave. I am also proud of our own bread, which is made with fermented apple peel instead of yeast.

You don't have to drive all the way to Kobari for Ana Roš's cooking

At the Gourmet Festival this year, for the first time, exclusive lunches and dinners will also be organized, at one of which you can taste Ana Roš's dishes, but for the six-course dinner, - for which 44 per person. The entrance fee is HUF 900 - tickets are already sold out. But on Saturday, May 20, at seven o'clock in the evening, anyone who buys a ticket for the festival can meet him on the gastro stage, and with a little luck, they can even taste one of his dishes.

The Gourmet Festival is May 18-21 this year anyway. is held on the Millenár between The entrance fee includes a wine glass, street food snack, magazines, programs, wine, beer, pálinka liqueur, whiskey and Tokaj wine vinegar tasting.

More information about the festival here.

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