Garden in the sky – how Canadian and Italian ended up in Slovenian mountains

Sometimes the best stories happen unexpectedly – in this case the collaboration between Hiša Franko and self-made hippy farmers Jeanne and Matteo.

In the world of fine dining, producers are rapidly coming out of the shadows, from behind the scenes into the spotlight. More and more chefs are pushing them to the foreground, giving them the respect they deserve and acknowledging them as an essential part of the creative team. In a time terms like “local” and “sustainable” have become axioms, chefs first started to showcase the produce as the real star of the meal, then they moved onto the producers, the farmers, collaborating with them on the menu, often a year in advance.

So, when Jeanne (Canadian) and Matteo (Italian), who used to work across the border for the renowned winemaker Joško Gravner and learned the ropes of organic winemaking and farming with Aleks Klinec and Janko Štekar, approached Ana Roš with the idea of growing organic produce in the partly abandoned, 14,7-hectar farm high up in the mountains, all shaped and grown depending on Hiša Franko needs, it turned out to be the perfect match for everyone involved.

“To be honest, having worked for Gravner, we were ready for pressure. But we still got a bit nervous when Ana actually called,” they smile shily. “I mean, going from vineyard work to working with two biggest names in this area …”

They now produce exclusively for Hiša Franko and, as they say – “Everything we do here is Ana. And Ana is us.”

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