Interview: Bine Volčič, Chef Extraordinaire

more than a year ago

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with acclaimed Slovene chef Bine Volčič at his newly opened restaurant, the wonderful Monstera Bistro in Ljubljana, to find out about his culinary inclinations, philosophy in the kitchen and more.

Who/what are your biggest culinary influences?
I’m classically trained in French cuisine, as I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. That’s the best culinary base you can get, but my palate loves Asian spices and tastes from around the world. My food is best described as fusion, however lately the Scandinavian philosophy of cooking influences me more and more.

Why zero-waste cuisine?
I’ve been introduced to this philosophy through my friendship with Finnish chef Sasu Laukkonnen, who was recently awarded a Michelin star. It’s simple: why waste food, if it is edible and can offer a treat to your taste buds? So we aim to use the whole animal, not just steaks and fillets, we use vegetables from leafs and stems to the roots, with all peels in between. For example, they make great fried chips or you mix their dehydrated powder with salt for flavour enhancement. The zero-waste idea is truly a noble effort with which we show respect to our ingredients.

How do you come up with particular dishes?
Foremost I follow the seasons, ingredients that grow together normally pair well together. Then my experimental side kicks in… in general I have a habit of walking on the edge and my dishes reflect it – I like bold and intensive flavours, unexpected combinations and honest cooking which means that I don’t exaggerate with techniques and avoid “special effects” that don’t complement the ingredients.


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