Although it’s a worn out phrase, Americans undoubtedly love *stories*. And they found so many stories in Roš herself, that it seems the 43 minute-long episode was too short to cover everything they wanted. Chef's Table, the extremely popular Netflix documentary series about the best chefs in the world (we’re talking about three Michelin star holders and the first ten restaurants on the 50 best restaurants list), does not focus on what their featured chefs prepare, but why. How did they reach the culinary Mount Olympus? What did they have to sacrifice? What kind of personal stories do they carry with them?
Hiša Franko has no Michelin stars. Slovenia is far off the well treaded culinary trails and it was only by chance that Ana Roš, a graduated multilingual diplomat, ended up in the kitchen - and yes, because of love (in this case it was her partner Valter Kramar). Roš compensates her remoteness by promoting her restaurant, and at the same time her country, on her own initiative.
Ana’s Chef's Table episode is therefore perhaps more of an advert for Slovenia than it is for herself (on the day the episode premiered the number of views on the Hiša Franko website jumped from 200 per day to 10,000 per day!). Americans have without doubt fallen in love with the Soča region, its summits and rural idyll. The cameras savour the landscape and it is not surprising that the Eater culinary web portal finds the Slovenian episode full of slow motion footage, with which the director probably created the most effective commercial for Slovenia to date.
"Ana is at the very top among those who create food in the 21st century," is what Alexander Lombardo from the US Saveur magazine says in the series, while sitting on the terrace of Nebesa, an elite mountain resort owned by Ana’s parents in Livek. Critics are mostly impressed by how original Ana’s cooking is, her daring combinations and individual direction. That can be attributed to the fact that she ended up in the world of culinary by chance. She sharpened her taste buds by traveling and being taken to different restaurants by Kramar and not by attending strict culinary schools full of guidelines and established rules.
Her last May/June tasting menu, which was put together as the Hiša Franko restaurant enters a new Netflix chapter, includes oysters with lamb, while the trendy quota of offals is met with goat brain in her excellent soup. More intense, with even more perfect plating.
On the menu are also two dishes already regarded as Ana’s classics - the remarkable reinterpretation of fish stew and the Kruh in mleko (Bread and milk) dessert, which will most likely remain on the menu for some time, just like the ravioli with fermented ricotta, bone marrow and shrimps, as well as the calamari with veal sweetbread, broad beans, black garlic and the Jamar cave cheese - probably another one of the most ingenious foods in Slovenia.