Tomaz Kavcic, ambassador of delicious food in Slovenia

The small country bordering with Italy stands out more and more because of its gastronomic verve. Here's a report on a lovely lunch

23-10-2020
The fun amuse bouche created a few weeks ago at I

The fun amuse bouche created a few weeks ago at Identità Golose Milano by Tomaz Kavcic of restaurant Pri Lojzetu in Zemono, Slovenia. The lunch was organised by the Slovenian Tourism Board, whose task is to promote the beauties and delicacies of this small country to the east of Italy 

What a pleasant lunch, on Tuesday 22nd of September. This was devised by the Hub of Identità Golose Milano together with the Slovenian Tourism Board, the first leg of a road show in which the board, representing this country which became independent in 1991, presents itself to Italy through its beauties and delicacies.

Before the meal, consul Boris Antolic and Board director Aljosa Ota spoke. It wasn't hard for them to present all the touristic pros of the once Yugoslav outpost, a very green land (60% of it is covered with forests) ideally divided into four ecosystems: the Alps, 47 km of Mediterranean coast, the Pannonian Basin, the Karst region.

On top of hiking, skiing and sports offered by the small country (whose size is slightly less than that of Lombardy), our readers will be happy to read a small focus on their delicacies. For us Slovenia has always been a place with a high density of wineries and high-quality restaurants. In 2010 it was the guest country at the Identità Golose congress, and it's nice to remember with hindsight the three chefs who spoke at the time: a very young and still unknown Ana Roš with Janez Bratovz, a chef who, in the same years, made it to the World’s 50Best for a short time, with his JB in Ljubljana. The third was Tomaz Kavcic, an acrobat who had already charmed our audience in the 2006 edition, our second one. His forte at the time: Seabass on a salt block, which to this day he finds impossible to take off the menu at Pri Lojzetu

Slovenian consul Boris Antolic and Board director Aljosa Ota

Slovenian consul Boris Antolic and Board director Aljosa Ota

Kavcic and Ota

Kavcic and Ota

Celeriac and crayfish 

Celeriac and crayfish 

Grilled beef in beef stock, Kavcic's signature dish 

Grilled beef in beef stock, Kavcic's signature dish 

Putting old memories aside, it's time to focus on the present and on the near future of Slovenia, as it was also nominated European Region of Gastronomy 2021. It was also recently under the limelight thanks to the first edition of the Michelin Guide, which right after the lockdown had 2 Michelin stars shine on Hisa Franko, the restaurant of Roš and her husband Valter Kramar (2 stars) and one each for Pri LojzetuAtelje in Ljubljana, Dam in Nova Gorica, Vila Podvin in Radovljica and Hisa Denk in Zgornja Kungota.

Who better than Tomaz Kavcic could prepare a lunch that would sum up, in a few dishes, the country's fine gastronomy? «The Michelin Guide has given a meaning to our recent work», the chef from Vipava explained before we took our seats, «I was happy, of course, when they called us to tell us about the star. But I would like to say that we're still a gostilna, which has the same root as ‘osteria’, a place with a vocation for hospitality, and for having guests enjoy themselves, above all».

The dessert, a gentle new take on gin tonic

The dessert, a gentle new take on gin tonic

Gin Monologue and tonic water interpreted by Kavcic

Gin Monologue and tonic water interpreted by Kavcic

Pri Lojzetu recently received one Michelin star 

Pri Lojzetu recently received one Michelin star 

A necessary premise before enjoying the Scampi to dip in an air of herbs, the Raw porcini happily travelling among trout roe and wild herbs, the Trout cream softening the ‘grains’ of celeriac and parsley in different textures, the Ravioli with foie gras and a sublime veil of mangalica lard, the Beef stock with grilled meat, and, as for the dessert, an elegant work on gin tonic.

Speaking of which, Tomaz Kavcic has also invented his own spirit, Gin Monologue: «How could I not, in a country where juniper grows in abundance?», he said at the end of the meal, among the happy smiles of the participants. «We distilled it 72 times and finally chose the best formula. Among the botanicals, it's the only gin to also include olive leaves. A 100% Slovenian spirit». You can drink it with its own tonic water – also designed by our chef – or even straight, with an ice cube to bless the audacity.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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Identità Golose Milano

Tales and photos from the first International Hub of Gastronomy in Via Romagnosi, 3 in Milan