Slovenia – what lies beneath (and outside Hiša Franko)?

In June, at the time covid-stricken restaurant industry desperately needed a push, Slovenia got its first Michelin guide – the stars always mean a lot to chefs, but in this very particular case they were literal lifesavers.

For some Slovenian chefs and officials the arrival of Michelin to Slovenia has been long overdue, while outside observers were questioning if this tiny country had enough to offer to merit its very own red booklet.

Aside from Hiša Franko, that is. Number 38 on World’s 50 Best list, headed by prodigal Ana Roš, seemed to be a safe bet to be awarded a star. In the end she got 2 stars – now branded proudly not just on Hiša Franko’s front door, but also as tiny red tattoos on forearms of the chef, her partner and sommelier Valter Kramar and her sous chef Leonardo Fonseca. For Roš shooting straight to two stars meant a validation that her fame, accumulated through Netflix and world’s best female chef title was more than just savvy PR. For five other restaurants that got a star, it was like Christmas.