My life and adventures in Radovljica and throughout Slovenia
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Taste Radol’ca 2018 – a Triumph of Taste and Talent!
posted in Adele in Slovenia, Beekeeping, Beekeeping in Slovenia, Begunje, Food, ifeelsLOVEnia, Okusi Radol’ce, Radol’ca, Restaurants, Slovenia, Slovenia blog, Slovenian honey, Taste Radol’ca, Taste Radol’ca Tours, Tourism Radol’ca, Visit Radol’ca
Last Friday saw the opening event of this year’s Month of Taste Radol’ca.
There are 9 restaurants that co-operate in Taste Radol’ca, and every year the opening dinner is held at a different venue. This year it was the turn of Joštov hram in Podnart where, as has become the tradition, all the talented Taste Radol’ca chefs combined their skills, knowledge and creativity, culminating in a unique menu and a wonderful, memorable evening.
Photo: Boris Pretnar for Visit Radol’ca
The evening began with a farmers’ market and a chance to meet local producers and try some of their produce and products direct from the farm.
And we had a chance to sample a few Taste Radol’ca treats to keep us warm too!
Being home to the Museum of Apiculture and the Beekeeping Education Centre of Gorenjska, the Radol’ca area is synonmous with beekeeping and the theme of this year’s Taste Radol’ca is honey. The Radol’ca area is home to numerous beekeepers, among the most well-known is Erik Luznar of Čebelarstvo Luznar, whose acacia honey was recently judged the best in the country – congratulations Erik!
Throughout the evening music was provided by the excellent band Suho cvetje, who first played outdoors as a backdrop for the farmers’ market, and then moved indoors. Their unique style of music was just perfect for such an intimate venue, not overpowering and the perfect compliment to the jovial atmosphere.
At 7pm it was time for the main event, and we were ushered to our tables to let the feasting begin!
The whole focus of Taste Radol’ca is that all dishes are prepared using exclusively local ingredients, thus supporting local farmers and producers and ensuring an absolute minimum number of food miles. The other essence is that everyone mucks in, there are no egos at play here, it’s a case of ‘all hands on deck’ as all the chefs work in harmony with spectacular results. In addition to joining forces in the kitchen, the chefs, as well as restaurant owners and staff, all muck in too!
We began with a cold starter consisting of game pate, salami, hummus, pumpkin and mini peppers, prepared by Gostišče Draga and Gostišče Tulipan.
The soup was a particular treat for me – parsnip soup – parsnips are very rarely seen in supermarkets and almost never on the menus of restaurants, so bravo Vila Podvin and Lambergh Restaurant for using this wonderful vegetable! It was served with tortellini filled with mohant cheese – a distinctively pungent and whiffy cheese from the Bohinj area – served with hazelnuts, yoghurt and honey.
The hot starter was porcini mushrooms, from beneath Roblek, with locally-farmed trout and spinach, prepared by Gostilna Avguštin and Gostilna Pr’Tavčar.
The main course, courtesy of Joštov hram, Gostilna Kunstelj and Gostilna Lectar, was a mouthwatering combination of Kraskopolje pig wrapped in bacon with bean puree, roasted pepper sauce and spring onions.
With a nod to this year’s theme of honey, dessert, the brainchild of Gostilna Kunstelj and Gostilna Lectar, featured honeyed milk with a bee-shaped honeybread to dunk served with succulent honey cake.
And this is but the start, there is still the whole month of November ahead to enjoy meals at all the 9 Taste Radol’ca restaurants – Joštov hram, Gostilna Avguštin, Gostilna Lectar, Gostišče Draga, Gostilna Pr’Tavčar, Lambergh Restaurant, Vila Podvin, Gostilna Kunstelj and Gostišče Tulipan.
And to give you even more incentive, if you visit at least 5 restaurants by the end of November and collect a stamp at each one, you will receive two vouchers for food at the Taste Radol’ca closing event, which will take place on 1st December together with the switching-on of the Christmas lights and the opening of the Advent Market.
I hope this has whetted your appetite to try more – I know it has mine; Taste Radol’ca here I come! Check out the menus here to help you decide where to go (first)!
© Adele in Slovenia
We’ve had some amazing meals in some pretty amazing places around the world. Some are made better by what surrounds you at the time — the people, the place, or all the stars aligning with the perfect combo of time and place. Hiša Franko was different. Dinner was relaxed. There was no pretense, no velvet rope attitude. The wait staff was friendly and chatty, if you were so inclined. It was refreshing, and fun. And as we sat in this quiet country restaurant in a remote corner of Slovenia, I realized that I’ve never truly experienced a place through the food as I did that night. We tasted the Soča Valley through each delicious course at Hisa Franko. Slovenia is one of the world’s best countries for food and what we love most about slow travel and tasting the local food culture.
Dinner at Hisa Franko was a skillful work of art, and one of the finest culinary experiences we’ve had anywhere. Dishes were expertly prepared, balanced and inspired. Ingredients were seasonal and fresh, and every foam, flower, and drizzle added never tried too hard or crossed the line of being overdone (though I hardly expected that from the best female Chef in the world). Chef Ana and her team expertly craft beautiful seasonal menus that speak to the heart of Slovenia.
As I peeked into the kitchen on my way to the restroom, the staff invited me in — they didn’t have to ask twice. I met their bread baker, creator of that amazing and crusty spelt bread, and chatted with sous chefs in between plating dishes. Then Chef Ana appeared behind me like the Maestro conducting her performance, asking me how our dinner was. She couldn’t have been more gracious in the middle of service, and paused to snap a pic with us. The perfect ending to an amazing meal!
Hiša Franko Price and Tasting Menu
Our Late Summer Tasting Menu included 18 “bite” courses — for 150€ per person. As I mentioned above, the menu is always fresh and new, and will be every bit as beautiful. Hiša Franko does a good job at confirming your dinner and stay via email, asking you for information on any dietary restrictions or food allergies you may have, and gives you the chance to alter your menu a bit up to a week ahead of your reservation.
Hisa Franko Casa
Hisa Franko is not only one of the best restaurants in Slovenia, it’s also home to Ana, Valter and their children. The property setting therefore has a relaxed feel to it, as if you’re staying at their home. The grounds are beautiful and fun to walk around, especially the back garden. I was green with envy at all the fresh veggies, colorful (and edible) flowers, and her tomatoes. Oh my. So many colors, chapes, and sizes! When you book dinner at Hisa Franko, you’re required to book an overnight guest room as well. The rooms are spacious, modern, and perfect for an overnight stay, and a delicious breakfast is included. Our double room with queen bed was 130€/per room + Tourist tax of 2€/per person.