Tomaž Kavčič – The Little Prince of the Slovenian Cuisine

Lobster carpaccio by Tomaž Kavčič (Photo by Marjan Močivnik)

Till a few years ago the most appreciated countries on the gourmet map of Europe were for sure France, Italy and Spain. Now a small country on the sunny side of Alps is entering strongly in the arena of the most important chefs.

Slovenian gastronomy is becoming more and more appreciated between the gourmet connoisseurs and the biggest merit for this goes to the Little Prince of the Slovenian cuisine – Tomaž Kavčič. On 16th of September this year he was also honoured with the invitation to spoil with his great plates the European Council at the Brussels Summit. And he did it. With a great success.

What did he prepare that day?

Scalop au gratin with herbal bread, wrapped into bacon and served on cooked vegetables with added dried tomatoes.

Steak filled with pancetta and herbs, served on porcini and sprinkled with crispy vegetables .

Minestra made from vegetables and fruit, with vanilla ice-cream and pumpkin oil.

Tomaž Kavčič with Borut Pahor and Silvio Berlusconi

Who is Tomaž Kavčič and how did it all start?

Tomaž was born in a family with a strong gastronomical background. Already in 1897 his mother’s grandparents had a very famous restaurant in the zone. All the future generations followed the tradition and were known not only for their excellent food also for their big cordiality and warmth.

The restaurant has been first mentioned in 1897 as a restaurant for carters. At that time the restaurant was led by Mrs. Mici, Katjas grandmother, and her husband Lojze.

Their son Lojze took over the restaurant with his wife Valerija who had been schooling in monastery cooking school before Second World War and had to prepare six local meals for her final exam.

This tradition has been successfully handed over to her daughter Katja Kavčič. Katja nourished the Vipava cuisine and raised it to the highest level of Slovenia’s restaurants already a decade ago.

Everybody who at that time ate in the village Dornberg at the restaurant “Pri Lojzetu” became renewed as far as gastronomy and wine selection was concerned. But besides harmonic and sophisticated flavours of Vipava Katja added something unique to the meals: her soul.

Poetry of Flavours

The baton was passed to Tomaž Kavčič from his mother and together with Marko Bolčina they have been cooperating already for about 15 years. Tomaž is a poet of flavours, cooking technologies and top ingredients. Along his immense knowledge he never forgets Vipavska valley that is always present in his cooking. Tomaž, his friends call him Tomi, also adds to his meals something he inherited from his mother and grandmother: the soul.

The restaurant “Pri Lojzetu” has been for more than a decade dwelling in Zemono Manor House and offering unique cuisine. Listing the meals would not have any sense. It is important that Tomi takes care of fresh ingredients regarding the season and purity of flavours that is obvious. Preparation techniques vary from entirely simple and traditional to molecular and completely original developed by Tomi. One of them is his famous salt-grill which impressed many chefs and guests worldwide.

Lobster carpaccio by Tomaž Kavčič (Photo by Marjan Močivnik)

Tomi is constantly traveling all around the world to present his creations to different gastronomic audiences, presenting his creativity on different seminars, in restaurants etc. and is very much appreciated by the best known italian and french gourmet magazines and professionals. His food is not just a pleasure for the mouth but involves all the senses.

What’s typical for Tomi is also his care for the guests. He doesn’t want that the soul of the dish gets lost on the way between the kitchen and the client so he cares about the presentation and the extra experiences which involve all the senses of his guest. Every visit of Zemono is that way a really unforgettable experience.
The restaurant “Pri Lojzetu” resides in Zemono Manor House (next to the village Zemono) that lies between Vipava and Ajdovščina.

Zemono manor house is situated on a rising in Vipava valley nearby Vipava settlement. It was built in 1683 in a tradition of Palladian villas from around Venice. The manor house used to be a hunting or a summer house. The corps of the manor house is surrounded by arcade corridor. Interior walls are richly decorated with frescos. Goldoni (who’s father was the medical doctor of the noble family who owned the manor house) made in Zemono his first performance. Some people know to say that one of the famous guests in the history of Zemono was also Giacomo Casanova.

Enter this magic place and let it whisper to you the stories.

Dry jota by Tomaž Kavčič

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