The Slovenia Times

Rising star of Slovenian cuisine named chef of the year

David Žefran of Restaurant Milka receives the Gault & Millau chef of the year award. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

David Žefran, a fast-rising star of the Slovenian culinary scene who made Restavracija Milka in Kranjska Gora one of the top rated restaurants in the country in less than a year, has been named chef of the year by the French culinary guide Gault & Millau.

The accolade, awarded on 2 April, comes after Žefran received his first Michelin star just three months after the restaurant opened in 2022, and the second star last year. The restaurant combines Nordic and Alpine, classical and modern cuisine, using regional ingredients inspired by the Alpine environment and tradition.

Restavracija Milka is among the ten culinary establishments that have retained the four toques, the top rank awarded by Gault & Millau. There were no new additions to the prestigious list.

Hiša Franko in Kobarid, famous for its star chef Ana Roš, was again among the best, having last year become the first Slovenian establishment with three Michelin stars.

The other recipients of the four toques are Gostilna Pri Lojzetu in Vipava, Grič in Šentjošt nad Horjulom, Hiša Denk in Zgornja Kungota, Ošterija Debeluh in Brežice, Strelec in Ljubljana, Mak in Maribor, Pavus in Laško, and JB Restaurant in Ljubljana.

Gault & Millau awarded three toques to an additional 30 restaurants.

The chef of the future award went to Ago Špacapan of Špacapanova Hiša in Komen, and Simo Komel of Bistro Grad Štanjel was declared the chef of tradition.

Rok Smonkar of Posestvo Gjerkeš in Rogašovci received the young talent award, and Andrej Kurež of Marina Hotel Restaurant in Izola was declared the best sommelier or waiter.

The best confectioner of 2024 title went to Saša Mišič and Matevž Kmet of Ljubljana's Cubo Restaurant, and Etno Hiša Baščaršija in Maribor was recognised as the most popular, trendy and affordable restaurant.

The entire line-up of Gault & Millau-listed restaurants in Slovenia will be known at the end of the month, when this year's print edition of the guide is released.


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