Interview: Janez Bratovž, master chef

more than a year ago

With almost 30 years in the business, Janez Bratovž knows how to source the best ingredients, and has a wealth of techniques to choose from when considering how they should be presented. It is this respect for local ingredients and deep reserve of knowledge, drawing on traditions while applying modern techniques, that are some of the hallmarks of Bratovž’s work in the kitchen. When first opened JB was almost on its own with regard to high-end dining in Ljubljana, and the growing number of world-class restaurants in the city can in many ways be traced back to the work done here. Despite this history, Bratovž remains more excited than ever about the possibilities of the local food scene. I spoke to him and his son, Tomaz, on a recent morning, before one of his usual trips to the Central Market.

Why do you still go to the market, and not somebody else?
So I can see what’s the freshest, the best ingredients. And when I see a vegetable or something that’s interesting, then I have a new idea. I haven’t been yet, but I was called about some small fish that I want to use. I know how the plate will look, and so I know what other things I need to buy.

For today’s menu?
Yes, for today. I don’t change the whole menu every day, but maybe some dishes are different from the day before, because I found something fresher today. I don’t think: new season, new menu. I think: new ingredient, new dish. So we change the whole menu through-out the year, a lot of times, but we never think “OK, scrap everything.”


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