Recipe for success: discipline and diplomacy, says top Slovenian chef

Slideshow ( 11 images )

KOBARID, Slovenia (Reuters) - Nestled in a valley just a few miles from the Italian border, Ana Ros’ restaurant lures food-lovers from around the world with her quirky dishes: eel with pomegranate, foie gras and field chicory and tripe with fava beans and fried nettles.

Ros, 44, starred on Netflix’s Chef’s Table last year, since when her Hisa Franko restaurant has been packed.

In April, she picked up her award for the World’s Best Female Chef by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

The former sportswoman, who was a member of the national youth skiing team and had studied to become a diplomat before she began helping her husband Valter Kramar run the family business, says those skills helped her become a successful chef.

“Gastronomy is a sort of art, it is very exact and you need a lot of discipline that comes from sports,” she said, adding that diplomacy comes in handy when trying to avoid “nervous breakdowns and screaming” in the kitchen.

She fell into her cooking career by accident, having canceled a job interview in Brussels to help Kramar with Hisa Franko, and learnt to cook with the help of her mother-in-law.

The couple were already food tourists, traveling the world to eat at top restaurants and leaving behind Slovenian traditional staples such as sausages, sauerkraut and dumplings.

“The food was always fascinating to me but I could not imagine that I would ever make it,” Ros said.

Editing by Louise Ireland