Photo credit: European Food Summit / Marko Ocepek

Between the 16th and 19th March 2019, Ljubljana was a host to the first European Food Summit. Namely, the previous Gourmet Cup, has been this year re-named to European Food Summit in order to connect the Europe-wide culinary scene in one place – Slovenia’s capital. After the event, there was a common conclusion that “A gastronomic star is born.” The highlights in Ljubljana included a Conference, an Experience Dinner, and the Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl.

Photo credit: European Food Summit / Matic Kremžar

Photo credit: European Food Summit / Matic Kremžar

The four-day European Food Summit, organised by company Jezeršek Catering joined by partners Ljubljana Tourism and Slovenian Tourist Board, was composed of a series of creative events with internationally recognised names in food and top Slovenian chefs. The successful organisation located the Summit among Europe’s best food events. Ljubljana, that was transformed into the European culinary capital, placed Slovenia on top of the hottest destinations list. According to the opinion of Ana Roš, who put Slovenia on the international culinary map in 2017 with being awarded a title of the best female chef in the world, “The position of Slovenia has been further improved thanks to the European Food Summit.”

The curator of the Summit was Andrea Petrini, named the “God of Food” by foreign media outlets, while in Slovenia he is known as a true culinary impresario. He brought to Ljubljana the hottest international chefs who at Ljubljana Castle delivered lectures on sustainable values and the future of food. In addition, the Ljubljana Castle was the venue for the Experience Dinner with TOP chefs that prepared a nine-course meal with exquisite Slovenian wines.

Another highlight of the events held in Ljubljana, was the Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl culinary tour for which the public afterward concluded it has the greatest potential. Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl with its programme of pop-up eateries bonded Ljubljana Tourism, the Gourmet Ljubljana brand, and Ljubljana’s top chefs. The latter uncovered their unique dishes accompanied by the best of Slovenian wines at a number of sights and landmarks in Ljubljana. The Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl, thus, blended culture, architecture and food. Top Ljubljana chefs offered their dishes at an independent art gallery DobraVaga which is set at the former fish market; another chef cooked at Kresija Gallery; participants of the culinary crawl were taken by surprise at the Museum of Illusion; while at the Town Hall atrium two chefs served their food; at the Ljubljana Castle a medieval dinner was served; and the last pop-up eatery was set at Križanke, former monastery and nowadays a beloved concert venue.

In accordance with global trends, Ljubljana has long ago recognized gastronomy as an aspect that attracts visitors. Thus, Slovenia’s capital connects with suppliers at the destination, connects them, participates in the placement of traditional local dishes from local ingredients on the menus, and markets them. The European Food Summit with accompanying events re-affirmed Ljubljana’s position among the top culinary destinations.