There has been a rapid development of viticulture, wine production and original culinary creations in Slovenia over the past decade and a half. Particular attention is being paid to preserving the natural production of food, native raw materials and local products.
The great and prestigious French restaurant guide Gault & Millau (G&M) has recognised the advantages offered by Slovenia. It decided to extend its gastronomic activities to our country as well. The first Gault & Millau Slovenia guide was released in November 2018. It featured presentations of 130 restaurants and 50 popular catering establishments ranging from pastry shops to wine bars and pizza restaurants where guests can enjoy a bite to eat or drink quality wine at affordable prices. The guide also presented 50 top-quality wineries and their wines, and 15 small breweries from throughout Slovenia.
G&M was founded half a century ago in France. The gastronomic guide is recognisable by its yellow colour and the chef’s hats that it awards to restaurants in addition to points. “Luxury is in the quality, not in the price” is G&M’s main slogan. In the middle of the last century, it was the initiator and advocate of new techniques and approaches in cuisine, which then began to be promoted by French chefs who have since become legendary. “Nouvelle cuisine” was a designation for modern and light cuisine with an emphasis on presentation and colour. G&M has always highlighted the importance of respecting tradition, but cuisine should still be a reflection of the times we live in and mirror the culture and recognisability of a nation. It pays great attention to chefs, their creativity and looks for new, young cooking talents. Its evaluations, which are standardised for all countries, always emphasise the credibility and independence of the guide. Anonymous reviewers, having extensive knowledge of gastronomy and wine, visit the venue unannounced, rate it and always pay their bill. The evaluation takes into account the overall experience – quality of raw ingredients, creativity, presentation of food, selection of drinks, concept of the restaurant, as well as service and price. Fifty years of experience and consistent adherence to the methodology guarantee that guests who follow the guide will not be disappointed.
What does the arrival of G&M in Slovenia mean? Slovenia was brought closer to other culinary destinations by opening the doors to the quality of Slovenian gastronomy and wine to domestic and foreign guests. It has always been able to recognise quality and has been a participant in all major events on the gastronomic scene. The guide presented Slovenian quality and creativity, giving them high ratings. It does not matter how many points or hats a restaurant receives – what is important is that its quality is recognised, while the rating should serve as an incentive for greater creativity and to make the offering even better. By being included in the guide, wineries and breweries also received a tribute to their quality (according to the rules, the G&M guide presents only a select few who are willing to participate).
Each new issue of G&M will bring a wider and more diverse selection and make the tourist offer of Slovenia richer. This includes information on where to sleep, what agritourism farms to visit and what to buy so that the taste of Slovenia will remain in your mouth and heart for a long time after coming home. G&M is a culinary institution that contributes tremendously to the development of high-quality culinary offerings. And what is also really important, it seeks out young talents and gives them recognition regardless of whether they are chefs, brewers, winegrowers or farmers. Therefore, let us proudly raise a glass of our premium wine in satisfaction over the fact that G&M has recognised us as a top destination. Bon appetit and cheers!
Author: Mira Šemić, Director, G & M Slovenia, WSET London Diploma, Wein Akademiker
The article was published in our new Wine Magazine 2019.