Slovenia is perhaps a country you’ve never considered as being an innovative culinary destination but thanks to its incredible wine scene, farm-to-table cuisine and chefs focused on locally sourced produce, it is emerging as one to rival traditional European destinations – and therefore a natural fit to become part of our Tasting Notes series. Lifting the lid on the best of Slovenian gastronomy, we have teamed up with one of the country’s best chefs, Janez Bratovž, to curate a ten-day culinary immersion guaranteed to whet your appetite. Through our Tasting Notes of Slovenia, you will make your way around the little Central European country sampling the best it has to offer, with gourmet chef Janez by your side to teach you all he knows. We’re talking exclusive wine, cheese and oil tastings, truffle hunting and cheese making, plus the hottest reservations in town. To top it all off, you will be invited for private VIP culinary experiences alongside Janez at his award-winning restaurant to don your chef’s whites for something few others can say they’ve experienced.
From Coast to Vine
Fire up your tastebuds in the coastal town of Portorož, where you’ll spend a day across the border in Croatian Istria on an exclusive truffle hunt with a professional truffle hunter and specially trained dogs to show you the way. Once you’ve had your fill of fungi over a gourmet lunch prepared from your haul, you’ll be whisked off to Piran Bay to watch the fishermen at work before enjoying an afternoon by the water with a pre-dinner private tour of the charming town of Piran.
From the coast, you’ll then head inland to the Tuscany of Slovenia, Goriška Brda. Join a local winemaker at a boutique vineyard for an exclusive tasting session and a glimpse of the history of the region before retreating to former fortress, Hotel Gredič for the night. Paying testament to the region, the hotel boasts its own wine cellar and champagne temple – and we can definitely get behind worshipping champagne.
Cuisine in the Countryside
The next three days will be focused on some exclusive gourmet culinary experiences as you join Janez’s daughter for a traditional cooking class, focusing on farm to table cuisine. From Goriska Brda, you’ll then head down to the Soča Valley where you will have an exclusive opportunity to sample the food of the best female chef in the world, Ana Roš, not once but twice. Head to her restaurant in Kobarid, Hiša Polonka, for a traditional Slovenian lunch of local delicacies and craft beer, served in a quaint rustic setting before sitting down to one of the hottest reservations in the country at her critically acclaimed restaurant, Hiša Franko, in the evening. Shake hands with Ana and her sommelier husband Valter before kicking the evening off with an exclusive wine tasting session in Valter’s impressive cellar. The rest is a surprise too good to spoil.
Behind the Pass
Continuing onto Ljubljana the next day, you’ll join Janez at the capital’s famous market, discovering local ingredients and then preparing them with him for a delicious and authentic lunch. Though make sure you leave some room, as in the evening you’ll join Janez again at his eponymous JB Restaurant. Ranked among the top 10 restaurants of Europe and the top 100 in the world, and serving dishes that take inspiration from the four elements of earth, wind, fire and water, a meal here is a true taste sensation. But this is more than just a reservation, as Janez has also agreed to open his kitchen doors to you for exclusive behind the scenes access to watch him and his incredible staff hard at work – who knows, they may even let you lend a hand. Working in one of the world’s best restaurants? That’s something for the memory books for sure.
Tasting the Regions
Home to 27 gastronomic regions, there’s a whole lot of Slovenia to taste and tomorrow you’ll head out on a day trip to Vogel Mountain for a private cheese making and tasting experience, before sampling famous Bled Cream Cakes on a pletna boat ride across the picturesque Lake Bled. Round off your culinary adventure out in Eastern Slovenia with a private tasting of Janez’s favourite local products such as salamis, marmalades and pear schnapps, as well as Slovenia’s unique pumpkin oil ice cream. Appetite whetted, enjoy a traditional lunch of old Prekmurain dishes, before a final wine tasting with a boutique producer. A tasty end to a rather delectable ten days in Slovenia.