Photos by Matjaž Tancic and Manca Jevšcek
Foreword by Hiroshi Ishida
Winner of the Gourmand Award for Best Chef Book; a love-letter to the region, by the internationally-renowned chef and father of modern Slovenian cuisine.
First published in Slovenian in 2018, this long-awaited, award-winning book has finally been translated to English. With beautifully written introductory essays for each new stop and robust narrative elements, it follows a road trip around Slovenia in search of the finest ingredients in the country, and the best producers of them. Each chapter profiles an ingredient key to the culture, and the passionate producer or farmer who supplies it, before delving into two select recipes for each—one interpretation of a traditional Slovenian dish and one modern presentation—which highlight the product and showcase its versatility.
The reason for this format is simple. For JB, the ingredient is paramount—the source of inspiration. Every dish in his restaurant is created from completely fresh ingredients, which he always hand selects and likes to trace back to their source. So it is only natural that his cookbook would be organized in the same way. It’s very much a reflection of the chef himself: an innovator rooted in local tradition and ingredients.
Featuring carefully-chosen ingredients like Adriatic fish, beef, game, fleur de sel, olive oil, prosciutto, wild herbs, goat cheese, and cabbage, you’ll find recipes such as:
- Soft red polenta with chanterelle sauce and sour cream
- Creamed Jerusalem artichoke soup with truffles, fried Jerusalem artichoke peels, olive oil, and red peppercorns
- Red deer fillet with juniper berry sauce, tarragon roll, red Swiss chard stems, celeriac, and cranberry jam
- Hazelnut ice cream with olive oil, dark chocolate, and fleur de sel
- Fried and cooked beef tendons with honey in wild garlic sauce, with cold-pressed sunflower oil, vinegar, and wild herbs
- Chicken in white wine with root vegetables and new potatoes
- Prosciutto-wrapped monkfish with celeriac purée, peach cream, and olive oil jelly
Fellow Slovenian Ana Roš (named the best female chef in the world in 2017) told CNN: “Every country has ‘The Chef.’ In Slovenia, this is him. Chef Janez Bratovž is the father of modern Slovenian cuisine.” With the country being awarded the title of European Region of Gastronomy in 2021, it’s clear that Slovenia and its beautiful and diverse cuisine is fast becoming the next major culinary destination, and its time in the spotlight is overdue.
“Slovenian Cuisine by Janez Bratovž features dishes from his acclaimed restaurant JB in Ljubljana, and profiles of his favorite producers across Slovenia. The photographs by Manca Jevšček and Matjaž Tančič range from lush landscapes and sensitive portraits, to strikingly modern plates of food. The designers Žare Kerin and Marjan Božič make generous use of space on each page, giving type and image ample room to breathe on white and light gray fields. Their typography is unique, conforming to a flexible grid that breaks in unexpected places. Especially remarkable is the way Kerin and Božic artfully set type in slender columns or wide blocks, mirroring the photographs on each spread. Quietly gorgeous, this book is an inspiring visual journey through the Slovenian countryside and its culinary gifts.” —Stained Page News