Who Is The World’s Best Female Chef?
Her name is Ana Ros, she’s 44 years young and she hails from Slovenia. If you haven’t heard of her, here’s what you need to know – and where you need to go.
We’re very much in the age of the self-taught aficionado across most – if not all – fields. You no longer need to train night and day, year after year, at the world’s most expensive and prestigious institutions. Your affluence no longer affects your agency. The success of Adele, Richard Branson, Masterchef, Susan Boyle, countless bloggers across the world and now Ana, are cases in point.
In another life she was a national ski champion however – another trope of the world’s current climate – she made a drastic career change. In 2000 Ana and her sommelier husband Valter took over from Valter’s father at the family restaurant, Hisa Franko, in Korbarid.
Growing up in Slovenia she was heavily influenced by her own countries native dishes as much as the cultural food of countries such as Italy, Hungary, Austria and Croatia, with which Slovenia neighboured. As a result her menu bestows traditional dishes, ingredients and her culinary heritage, yet is presented with audacious and unexpected twists. The historic building (c.1860) in which Hisa Franko is housed boasts the perfect aesthetic to complement her food.
“Ana Roš is a very worthy recipient of this year’s World’s Best Female Chef honour. Her precision, attention to detail and imagination distinguish her as a true leader in global gastronomy,” says William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
But Ana isn’t only feeding the world, she’s teaching us too. She has mentored underprivileged girls in India, connected with recovering addicts in an effort to teach them how to cook, and annually hosts local children in her kitchen.
“It is a big responsibility to accept this award,” notes Ana, “especially as a self-taught cook, but the recognition provides an opportunity for people to reassess Slovenia as an interesting gastronomic destination.”
Ana Ros will be presented with the honour as The World’s Best Restaurants awards ceremony at the historic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne 5 April, 2017.
Words by Holly Cunneen
Food Photography by Suzan Gabrijan