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Passionate and tenacious, the Slovenian chef of Hiša Franko, preferred the stoves - and love - to a diplomatic career...
Ana, tell us about your career as a chef. How did your career unfold to allow you to advance to where you are today?
I do not have a classical chef’s evolution: school, stages, important stages, hard work... I finished International and diplomatic science and I met my husband, whose family owned Hiša Franko at the time only when I almost graduated. I actually entered to this business through another door. A lot of studying, learning but mostly by myself. A lot of listening to guests, chefs, often even to people who work in my kitchen.
Your biggest inspiration?
The idea that cooking could be seducing.
The first taste you remember?
Istrian tomato. I ate it as an apple, it was so tasty, such a summer taste.
What is the best part about chef job?
Having 35 happy people around you.
Your goal when you cook...
To make my dishes clear in tastes and funny because of contrasts, a dish to remember and talk about.
What would you like to accomplish in your career?
“Nirvana” in the kitchen? I am very far away from it.
What is your most interesting or unique experience as a chef?
Working with drug addicts in the community of San Patrignano, in Italy. It makes you feel useful.
What is your comfort food?
If you were a dish, which one would you be?
An oyster. With a black pearl inside.
Can you share an eating experience tied to the most incredible taste of your life?
Street food in Vietnam - from cats to insects everything was very tasty.
A ‘tasteful’ suggestion you’d give your best friend?
Lunch at Pierre Gagnaire, in Paris!
Something you’d never eat?
What’s the ultimate taste?
I haven't found it yet.