JANEZ BRATOVŽ

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"I like to eat at the restaurants of my colleague chefs"

Fotografía de INTERVIEWS WITH OUR CHEFS

 

What made you want to become a chef?
When I was a child I wanted to become a mason and when I had told this to my grandmother she responded that being a cook is much better solution because this way I will never be hungry and will never be cold. Her answer was not surprising because she survived the war and had a tough life so this is when I decided I will become a chef.

Who has influenced your cooking style or your philosophy on food?
People that were the most influential on my cooking are Elena Arzak, Alain Ducasse and Hiroyoshi Ishida.

What inspires you or where do you get your inspiration from?
Great and fresh ingredients inspire me the most. With those and my knowledge of food I try to make the best dishes I can.

What is your favourite method of cookery or preparation?
Ingredients have a much bigger meaning for me than the methods of cooking. I use only those methods that don’t affect the basic taste of ingredient but enhance it.
 
What is your favourite ingredient?
Meat, fresh seafood and fresh vegetables.
 
What is your favourite kitchen tool?
In my kitchen I have a lot of kitchen tools, with most of them I can not imagine working in my kitchen. A few of them are copper cookware, Japanese knives, Kitchen Aid, Paco jet, Thermomix, Vacuum sealer.
 
What is your favourite section in the kitchen to work on during your apprenticeship?
My favourite kitchen section is on the main station, where the main dishes are being cooked.
 
Where you like to eat out?
I like to eat at the restaurants of my colleague chefs.
 
What would you like to see change with the cook schools?
I would like to see that students had more practical learning in the kitchens. At least this is for Slovenia.

Your advice to young chefs?
My biggest advice is that they should just keep on working in the kitchens, keep their heads down and insist to improve every day. Becoming a good chef needs a lot of time. Cooking has to be their lifestyle and not just a job. 

What do you look for when hiring staff?
They have to love what they do, they have to learn every day and also have to be able to work as part of the team.

What would you like to see change in the industry?
Last years there has been a big advance in culinary industry and I just want and hope, that it gains on quality and new inovations more and more.
 
How do you deal with awkward guests?
For me, every guest is the same and I try to offer the best produce we can offer to every guest that comes in my restaurant.

What is your first memory of food that blew your mind?
The culinary experience that blew my mind was dining at Heston Blumenthals. Just amazing.

What is your favourite escape to relax?
I don’t have a lot of time so there is not any time to relax.

What drives your ambition?
The biggest drive for me is my wish that every single dish on my menu was so good that I would be 100% happy with it.

What is your signature dish?
My signature dish I am most proud of is Ravioli filled with pistachio and cottage cheese with veal sauce, “burned cream”, roasted pear puree, foie gras and liquorice foam.

How do you motivate your team?
I try to incorporate their opinion in creating dishes and I also allow and even encourage them to create their own.

How do you think restaurants should be rated?
The most important factor of rating the restaurants is that those that rate the dishes understand food and everything about it, also the deeper meaning of the dish. They have to understand what the chef wanted to tell with the dish.

If you had to build the best kitchen team who would be in your kitchen all stars?
It would consist of Elena Arzak, Nadia Santini, Ana Roš and Heinz Beck.