Ana Roš, one of the best female chefs in the world
“The truth is that a woman must show that she is as good and skilled in the kitchen as men are, because at the end of the evening we are all the same in front of the client.” Ana Roš Do not believe in the gender difference in the kitchen, chef of Hiša Franko restaurant in Kobarid, Slovenia.
Mother of two children, she runs “Franko’s House” with her husband Valter Kramar, maître and sommelier, letting her love for her family and her work shine through in every gesture.
In Ana’s kitchen, in fact, both a woman’s own sensitivity and the determination and discipline resulting from diplomatic past coexist. A perfect mix of ingredients that allowed her to be named the best woman chef of 2017 by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Sensitivity and determination therefore, but also continuous research and experimentation. If asked how it is possible to reach such a goal with self-taught training, the answer is that “there is only one possible way: hard work, a lot of motivation and discipline”.
Incredibly, the best female chef in the world does not boast a background of internships in the largest starred kitchens but an education in International Sciences of Trieste.
When fifteen years ago she decided to devote herself to the kitchen of Hiša Franko, she left the diplomatic career in Brussels and a future already written by her parents to take the reins of Valter’s family restaurant.
The 1860 farmhouse they moved to is immersed in the splendid Slovenian countryside, five minutes from the Italian border. Too bad, however, that initially the territory was not as flourishing and hospitable as it is now and that she had no competence as a cook. “When I decided to follow Valter, my mother said to me:” You won’t start cooking, will you? I assured her, since I was absolutely not good at cooking! “ She says.
The only possibility to overcome this small detail is therefore to travel, thus making the best use of her seven languages, to draw inspiration from other restaurants and different gastronomic cultures.
This until the moment she gives birth to her first child in 2002 and then to the second the following year: “Instead of slowing down, my children showed me the way: with two children born one after the other I could no longer travel for the world. And that’s how I started to see the kitchen through my eyes and found my way.”
Ana therefore begins to create her success from scratch, giving life to a new Slovenian gastronomic culture, for which there are no symbolic dishes: «Every time I enjoy experimenting, adding or removing an ingredient to get ever new flavors and nuances, improvising without set limits to the imagination “.
The philosophy of Hiša Franko and its cuisine are inspired by two fundamental concepts, that Ana never tires of reaffirming: the identity of the chef and the territory that surrounds her. A place of peace, green and unspoiled, surmounted by the Alps to the north, from the Balkans to the east and the Mediterranean to the south. A land that has so much to offer those who can understand and appreciate it.
And Ana knew how to do it, creating a local production chain that was totally absent ten years ago. Today, every ingredient served at the table is raised or grown around the restaurant: “The farmers and producers were hiding in their dens, but now they think there are five people who collect mushrooms just for us!”
Not to mention the products they produce, such as the Tolminc cheese that Valter deals with so much love, or the typical Isonzo marble trout that splash around in a pond right in front of the kitchen entrance.
In short, this is the extraordinary story of a woman who, despite not following the diplomatic career, was able to bring Slovenia into the world, making her know and appreciate her identity and riches: «Up here there is so much to discover, come and touch it with your hand.”