Adopting a cosmopolitan outlook on cooking, Ana juxtaposes local and traditional ingredients with international and avant-garde flavours and techniques, at her restaurant Hiša Franko.
Her career was written in the stars. She was pulled from becoming an athlete or diplomat to become her husband, Valter’s right-hand woman in his father’s Alpine valley-based restaurant, Hiša Franko. They worked side by side as waiters to begin with, travelling the world to discover good food and culinary delights and decided to take it under their own wings. Valter, a renowned sommelier took the imbibing reigns, leaving Ana in the kitchen. And her innate talent flourished.
"My mother's cooking was always very sophisticated, very tasty and very healthy. And she only used local ingredients”, Ana explains. "I knew the right direction to take – to concentrate on local and seasonal food – but the problem was that my hands didn't always obey my brain. I lacked some of the necessary techniques"
With the help of a chef-teacher, her technical skills followed suit. Today, Ana combines different, contrasting flavours and textures into dishes that are so delicious they stay in the memory for ages. And almost all the ingredients she uses come from the local region. Her so-called "0-kilometre" ingredients, such as the self-bred trout or the garden-grown herbs, ensure maximum freshness. The result? Creations such as Immaginary garden (different textures and temperatures of seasonal fruits and vegetables), Pasta filled with liquid pumpkin, oxtail soup, candied red onions, beetroot leaves and black truffle egg zabaione or Black barley, oysters and mortadella, - Roe buck, gentiana sauce, white bread, rowan berries or Plum, whey and porcini. Thanks to these and other dishes, Ana Roš is now considered the best chef in Slovenia. Some even say the best in the Alps.
A different top chef each month. It doesn‘t matter which continent or country they come from or whether they serve traditional, fusion or molecular cuisine. What matters most is the variety. And, of course, the high quality of the dishes.
Eckart Witzigmann, Chef of the Century and patron of Restaurant Ikarus, implemented the concept successfully from 2003 to 2013, together with Executive Chef Roland Trettl. Since January 2014, the Ikarus Concept has been continued under the patronage of Eckart Witzigmann and guidance of Martin Klein, who for many years was the partner and Chef de Cuisine of former Executive Chef Roland Trettl. Unique instead of mainstream, multi-faceted instead of simplistic, bold instead of boring, and cosmopolitan instead of narrow-minded will continue to be the motto under Martin. The result? Satisfied bons vivants who relish fine cuisine.
For the chefs of Restaurant Ikarus, the guest chef concept means adapting to a new menu, a new top chef and a new philosophy each and every month. This demands a high degree of talent, versatility and team spirit.
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Images © Helge Kirchberger / Red Bull Hangar-7