Chef Name: Ana Roš
Number 48, 50 World’s Best Restaurants Awards, 2018
The World’s Best Female Chef, World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, 2017.
Best Restaurant, Slovenia Restaurant Awards, 2017.
Best Female Chef, Restaurant Magazine, 2017.
Talent of the Year Award, Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe (JRE), 2015.
How old were you when you started cooking professionally?
I was 30 years old. I was fully self-taught, finishing university and helping on service in my husband’s family restaurant. I was also three months pregnant.
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
Strong tasting Adriatic mussels. At Easter time, I would go with my parents with huge nets down to the water and pick mussels and clean them at the sea edge. Then we’d go home and cook them up in a big pot outside in the garden. That strong intense flavour of garlic, parsley and bread is the taste of my childhood and features heavily on my menus in the present day.
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
No one. We are all our own heroes and inspiration by ourselves.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
I fell in love with two cookbooks that are very well done for technicality, Sous-Vide Cuisine by Joan Roca and Los Postres De El Bulli by Albert Adrià, as they both cover so much technique.
Which two ingredients could you not live without?
Ingredients are changing, always changing, depending on season for me, but I would say that I could not live without good quality spring water.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
Soups, salad and pasta are the three basic elements. I never shop, so it is usually whatever is in the fridge – leftovers.
If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why?
Noma, as the concept is so amazing and René has a brilliant mind.
And who would you take as your guest?
My daughter, as she has a similar creative mind to mine. She never cooks but respects creative people and diversity. At 14 she has forged her own opinion and enjoys food.
What do you look for in a good chef?
Passion, you’re nothing if there’s no passion. If you have passion, there’s a way.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now?
Never give up. Even in the worst moments, keep on going, because after the rain the sun comes out. Careers have high and low moments and it is important to take care of yourself.
Ana Roš is Head Chef/Owner of Restaurant Hiša Franko.
Address: Staro selo 1, 5222 Kobarid, Slovenia.
Telephone: +386 5 389 41 20