Ana Roš learned to cook in a completely autodidactic way. Her style of cookery is so exceptional that she belongs today, as the best cook of Slovenia, to the culinary world’s elite. ‘Cooking is not for simple-minded people; be open-minded and never stop learning’, is her motto. It is crucially important to express oneself without wanting to please everybody. The current top chef admits that this process is often a lonely and arduous one, but it leads to the discovery of phenomenal results. After a career in the Jugoslav national ski team, and political changes, Ana Roš studied diplomacy and international sciences. She worked for the European Union before exchanging, 14 years ago, the international political scene for a kitchen in her native country. Together with her husband and sommelier Valter Kramar, she took over from her parents-in-law the former bourgeois inn Hiša Franko in Kobarid. The small restaurant is situated in a village close to the Italian border, in an enchanted alpine valley, surrounded by wildly romantic meadows, mountains and rivers.
Ana Roš’ top cuisine combines an avant-garde approach with local and seasonal ingredients from her home country. Her dishes reflect traditional recipes and the natural resources of the vicinity – the results are abstract, creative and surprising. On the one hand, she works with whatever is in season and available from the farmers or butchers in the village, or from the nearby fishermen, for instance marbled trout, which is served marinated, raw, or simmered in the Hiša Franko restaurant. On the other hand, Ana Roš offers to her guests a piece of the garden on a plate, e.g. chocolate crumble represents the ground, chocolate mousse hidden underneath the valuable humus, and flowers and berries placed on top represent the flora. The 44-year old explains her philosophy with these words: ‘With my dishes, I want to express the season, the locality, my character, my journeys, but also femininity’. Ana Roš’ culinary skills have made the Hiša Franko Slovenia’s number one gourmet temple. Udine, the closest large city, is a 40-minute drive away. Thus, any gourmet who comes all that way has made a conscious decision to do so.
Ana Roš achieved international renown virtually overnight, thanks to an episode about her cookery skills in the TV series Chef’s Table on Netflix. ‘The visitor numbers on our website increased from 200 to 10,000 a day, and we were absolutely swamped with reservation requests’, remembers Ana Roš. GaultMillau relates that ever since, ‘she has been asked to assist Europe’s best gourmet festivals as someone very special’. Wherever great master chefs meet to create together exceptional dishes for gourmets, Ana Roš represents her country, culinarily speaking, on a high level. The Slovenian was the first woman ever to participate in the renowned ‘Cook it raw’ project. She was invited to Salzburg as a guest chef, to the legendary Ikarus, and recently, in November 2016, alongside René Redzepi and Massimo Bottura, she even staged the worldwide Grand Gelinaz! shuffle, just to mention a few examples. The small country of Slovenia is particularly proud of its renowned top chef. Recently, on one of the biggest web portals, she was elected one of eight outstanding Slovenian personalities who confer international recognition to the country. The Slovenian state president recognised Ana Roš in autumn 2016 for her work and achievements as a culinary ambassador of her country. From that angle, the graduate diplomat Ana Roš, who speaks five languages fluently, has succeeded with her art of cookery in rejoining the international political scene.