A star of Chef's Table Season 2, Ana Ros runs Hiša Franko in the Slovenian countryside with her wine-focused husband Valter Kramar. She rose to international recognition just a few years after teaching herself how to cook and highlight the land's particular Alpine-Mediterranean traditions. Massimo Bottura recommended her to the Netflix crew and her episode is a must-watch even among the show's many stellar profiles. Ros is currently gearing up to join The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle, round 2, on November 10, when 40 chefs will swap restaurants around the world and every ticket is a mystery. Fingers crossed she lands near you. Or better yet, plan a trip to Slovenia, the most beautiful tiny country you never knew you should visit. Here, Ros reveals why.
How would you describe Slovenia and its food culture?
Slovenia is a very small country—1.8 million people—so it’s almost exotic to meet a Slovenian. And it’s only 21,000 km² [8,000 mi²], bordering Italy on the West and Austria on the North, and then going towards Balkans… Russia at the South border, and a very tiny border with Hungary. I live in a very specific corner: 3 kilometers from the Italian border and only 2 from the Austrian one. So imagine three cultures mixing up: Austria, Italy and we’re a Slavic nation. The place where I live is also fantastic because it’s a mountain. Look up the Soca Valley. It’s incredible. It’s like New Zealand. They actually filmed Narnia there.