Dining Out 3 minutes 19 March 2024

The MICHELIN Guide Slovenia - Gostilna Krištof: good, beautiful and sustainable!

Gostilna Krištof is a family-run establishment approximately thirty minutes from Ljubljana. In the village of Predoslje, in the heart of Gorenjska, in one of the finest examples in the area of a Gostilna (traditional Slovenian restaurant) and its hospitality. This you can see on parking your car outside the fine villa housing the restaurant, with the green of the arbor cooling the summer outdoor area, but also on entering where old family photos peer from the walls, while the wood tables, covered with white tablecloths, are a prelude to a decidedly engaging experience.

At Gostilna Krištof the atmosphere is homely and the merit is of the brothers Krištof and Tomaž Bolka who from their parents inherited the spirit of hospitality that distinguishes the establishment, opened in the Sixties precisely by Vinko and Elica Bolka. That sense of hospitality that passes through the interior design, with the warmth of the wood on the walls and the white curtains at the windows, but also the details that make the experience unique such as that beer tankard arranged on the set table that, once you are seated, is filled with the finest grape juice and ginger picked in the garden.

And while the house and the dining room service led by Krištof Bolka warm the heart, the kitchen is just as good. And the reason is clear: we are talking, once again, about authenticity. The raw material used is organic, fresh, often wild, fruit, vegetables and meats come from nearby farmers and farm-to-table is truly a reality here. Not by chance the local productions and attention to sustainability have also been acknowledged by the MICHELIN Guide that gave Gostilna Krištof the green star. The trout on the menu come from a small lake that keeps a constant temperature throughout the entire year and is located about ten kilometers from the restaurant, while the cheese used for the first courses, for example, is made by Orešnik, a producer who is thirty kilometers away. And then there is Mlin Katić for the flours, Fonda for the sea bass of the Adriatic Sea and Mlekarstvo Podjed for dairy products and cheeses.

Gostilna Krištof - MAIN DISH - ZTKK Cveto Sonc
Gostilna Krištof - MAIN DISH - ZTKK Cveto Sonc

But Gostilna Krištof is also the place where a local market has been held for about ten years with local producers and this year there are plans to open a point of sale, inside the structure, again dedicated to the culinary delights of the area. Actually, on the premises of Gostilna Krištof, there is also a bakery that, open to the general public, every day offers several types of bread, focaccia, panettone, sweets, croissants made on site, while Krištof's brother, Tomaž, about ten kilometers from the establishment, runs the Krištof Eco Glamping Resort: a place with a vocation for nature and ecology where you can live in the open air in contact with the surrounding rural environment in the village of Šmartno near Cerklje na Gorenjskem, right under the Alps of Kamnik and Savinja. From there come the organic cereals used also for making the bread at Gostilna Krištof and there is the idea of equipping each glamping site with a henhouse to be able to have fresh eggs for breakfast every morning.

Peter Irman - Gostilna Krištof, exterior
Peter Irman - Gostilna Krištof, exterior

This, in a nutshell, is the world around which turns Gostilna Krištof, but let’s now explore the culinary offering to become better acquainted with the cuisine that looks to and enhances tradition, but doesn’t disdain contemporary trends. Since 2016 the chef has been Uroš Gorjanc, a professional with great experience not only in Slovenia but worldwide. He has been a member of the national Slovenian culinary team, which has won many prizes, he has cooked for Maestro Pavarotti and also for the Pope under the guidance of Andrej Goljat, and for various embassies in Slovenia, and he worked for several years as a protocol chef at the embassies of Turkey and Finland. “Today cooking is very popular,” he comments, “And it has got to the stage where we can make a dish to be served in high level restaurants according to slightly modernized grandma's recipes. We are going back to our origins, just look at the stories of baking different types of bread that appeal to people all over the world.”
And this is somewhat the heart of the offering and philosophy of Uroš Gorjanc who supports cuisine based on traditional recipes besides, as we have said, using fresh locally-grown ingredients and modern techniques. This is how dishes are created such as bundles of sprouts filled with spelt and tofu or buckwheat porridge with cream of soy, vegetables and mushrooms or that rabbit with bacon that he combines with foie gras, glazed sour cherries and croûtons of crunchy bread with the addition of vanilla seeds.
And here, where you can eat continuously from lunch to dinner, the menu offers considerable local produce through a good number of dishes. Hence the Žlikrofi (Slovenian dumplings), offered with veal ragout and popcorn of Krškopolje pork, but also Venison Tenderloin served with a puree of beetroot, charred beetroot, vegetable mousse and deer sauce or local trout fillet with parsley, homemade sweet-and-sour sauce, cream of potato and spinach.
Another matter are the desserts that the chef has always loved making: Uroš Gorjanc's true passion lies in the sweet world, not by chance he is convinced that the guidelines of modern confectionery dictate creativity in every sector of culinary art. And on the menu there are always Štruklji with apple, ice cream with the flavor of “potica” (a Slovenian sweet based on nuts, Ed.) and vanilla cream.

Gostilna Krištof - MAIN DISH - FOTO DD  Nejc Pernek
Gostilna Krištof - MAIN DISH - FOTO DD Nejc Pernek

Uroš Gorjanc loves visiting the producers, wandering through towns and villages, discovering local products, searching for excellent new raw materials. The ideas at the base of his cuisine are clear: “First of all you need to have a good ingredient, only then can you obtain a good dish,” the chef explains. In his culinary philosophy, the health aspect is important too.

“When you eat,” he continues, “It’s important not to have any trouble, not feel weighed down: this is why I’ve decided to put on the menu only five main courses from which to choose. My twenty-two years of career around the world have taught me a great deal, also in terms of awareness and when I reached my friend Krištof I decided to put everything I had learned into practice. I respect food,” he adds, “And I’ve seen how they respect the guests here: we created the proposition together and we cooperate on a daily basis to make the experience fully unique.” And while the menu changes every three weeks, there are dishes that are always present such as the soup and the veal tenderloin, true signature pieces of the restaurant.

Gostilna Krištof

€€ · Traditional Cuisine, Regional Cuisine
Predoslje 22, Kranj

Illustration image: ZTKK / Cveto Sonc/Gostilna Krištof

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