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Hiša Franko

Hiša Franko

The Chef

Ana Roš

People get bitten by the cooking bug in all sorts of different ways. They might see something on television as a child and instantly know it’s for them, or they might take a job as a potwasher at their local restaurant and fall in love with the high-octane thrill of service. For Ana Roš, however, an interest in cooking professionally came later in life. After meeting her future husband Valter Kramar in 2000, she left the University of Trieste and a future career in diplomacy to work in his parent’s restaurant in Kobarid, just across the Friulian border in Slovenia.

‘When I left to start at Hiša Franko my parents weren’t happy,’ she says. ‘In Slovenian society cooking isn’t really respected, so leaving an intellectual career to go into the kitchen – which is seen as a craft and something you do when you can’t do much else – meant my parents were pretty disappointed. I think my mum would still prefer it if I was a diplomat today!’

It’s easy to see why Ana’s parents were less than enthused about her decision to give up a promising career as a diplomat to work in a remote restaurant near her birthplace of Tolmin. Her father was a doctor and her mother was a journalist, and Ana had been both a promising dancer and alpine skier in her youth (as well as achieving fluency in five languages). Falling in love with Valter, moving back to Slovenia and working front of house at Hiša Franko must have seemed like a waste of opportunity. However, when the chef left and Ana moved into the kitchen, she found her calling – despite having no previous experience.