Alpine skiing prodigy and graduate of diplomacy, the spokesman of Slovenian gastronomy, Roš is a self-taught cook. She met her business partner and ex life partner Valter Kramar while studying in Gorizia in northeastern Italy. His parents owned Hiša Franko, an already established restaurant near the Italian border, and the couple decided to take it over. He worked as a sommelier, she as a waitress, eventually stepping into the kitchen when the chef left.
With help from Valter’s mother and a family friend she experimented with updating traditional recipes from the upper Soča valley and by 2010 had started gaining an international reputation, crowned Best Female Chef by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and being the subject of an episode of Chef’s Table in 2017. Hiša Franko has been awarded the 38th best restaurant in the world by the 50 best restaurants list in 2019 and gained 2 Michelin stars in 2020.
Restaurant Hiša Franko
The main idea is to keep the tradition alive at Hiša Franko. The dishes are closely connected to Slovenian terroir and what our ancestors used to make. Being aware of these two things - and continuously exploring them-is the basis that Ana creates from and use modern techniques in that process. She is supported by beautiful nature that surrounds her and people that take care of it. There are young foragers, cheese makers at 2000 m altitude, winemakers and river & sea fishermen that are her local community. They produce things organically, as the nature is very much unspoiled and just pure beautiful. Hiša Franko don't have any big industries around but is surrounded by mountains in the North and the Adriatic-Mediterranean Sea in the South. This is one of the things that really inspires Ana and her cuisine. More so because the living conditions are sometimes quite harsh and the nature can at moments be quite modest in giving. It can feel a bit remote sometimes.
But her respecting nature, it also gives back. And she's blessed for having small farmers around her that think in the same way as she does. "We are a community that supports each other and spreads the philosophy to other parts of the country, too."
The food at Hiša Franko is everything but – boring. You can love it or hate it, but it will never be boring. Ana tries to explore the edges and move boundaries by using local ingredients. Mind you, Slovenia was one part of a communist country where creativity – also in gastronomy – was not that much supported as in the West. Hiša Franko is now building a New Slovenian cuisine here.
Staro selo 1
5222 Kobarid, Slovenia
+386 5 389 41 20
Source: Hiša Franko / Photos: Suzan Gabrijan