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Ago Špacapan

Špacapan House

A promoter of the Karst cuisine using top ingredients either from their or the neighbour’s garden and the surrounding meadows creates the best flavours.

About chef

Ago appreciates tradition. He provides his guests with elements from the ancestors, successfully upgrading them.

He grew up with cooking at the family restaurant ran by his parents. Ago continues the tradition and Špacapan House remains a family business. They all take part – mother Ada creates in the kitchen, father cultivates the garden and produces Teran, the sister also helps, and everything is supervised by chef Ago, who maintains not only family traditions, but also local Karst tradition.

Favourite dish
Homemade beef soup with dumplings

Memory of home, family, childhood. Of the moment when he sat down at the table and the scent of soup wafted around.

Favourite ingredient
Wild vegetables

They have a more distinct flavour than store bought vegetables.

When chef Ago was entrusted with Špacapan House, he asked himself what the characteristics of the Karst are. Then he upgraded the traditional Karst dishes. Everything on his menu stems from tradition. Prosciutto, beef Carpaccio, homemade soup, pasta with homemade butter and baked yeast, ravioli filled with Špacapan’s krodiga (pig skin sausage), lamb, game, matured beef, etc. Each dish has a story arising from local history, the area and the people who lived here. Each dish exudes love for the soil and passion for tradition that was instilled in Ago’s genes since the very beginning.

Ago Špacapan
Photo: Špacapanova Hiša archives
“I’m taking a step back. I’m going back to the roots, to the procedures that require more time, but produce a much better flavour.”

The Špacapans cure their own prosciutto. “You can only get prosciutto of the highest quality if you make it yourself. Pigs must be correctly fed without the addition of preservatives and other artificial additives,” says Ago who cures prosciutto for three years before serving it. And it tastes… completely different from the prosciutto from the shop. It is the same with bread. Ago makes sourdough bread. Not because this type of bread is so popular now, but because it is easier to digest and tastes better. But, of course, this takes its time. You have to take time for food – not only to eat it, but also to prepare it. “The speed of the industry has brought us instant solutions and procedures.”

Pasta
Photo: Špacapanova Hiša archive

A dish must be so tasty that, at the moment when you eat it, you wish you could eat it again.

In general, Ago bets on flavours: “When you taste a dish, the flavours must be balanced. You must be able to discern the most exposed ingredient, but the whole dish must still be in harmony.” The real criterion of a good dish is not a modern culinary creation that combines various exotic ingredients, but rather a desire for more. Dishes are always tasted by a team of young people and mother who, as the most senior part of the team, is a representative of the second generation. Chef Ago then gathers all of the comments and gives the dish a modern twist. He does the same later on the basis of the comments, wishes and ideas of their guests. They make the fifth version of beef Carpaccio, which was in the making for three seasons. And it is, undoubtedly, superb.
This was also the opinion of two Frenchmen who enjoyed Špacapan’s tasting menu a few years ago. They will thrilled. So thrilled that they invited Ago and his family for a holiday at their place. “Of course, we didn’t go because you can’t just close the restaurant and the family business. But we have fond memories of that experience.”
Chef Ago wants to devote his attention to each guest. That is why there are only six tables in the restaurant garden and ten in the interior of the restaurant. That is his limit. Above this number, the attractive intimacy he can establish with his guests is gone. Ago’s projects that exceed the context of the restaurant and tend to his guests in various periods and situations in life show just how important a genuine relationship is for him. Catering, weddings and the newest packages in nature – a basket with breakfast or lunch that he brings to the agreed location. “A family can enjoy a relaxing trip to nature, take a walk around Komen, the children play, the parents enjoy the sunshine… At the agreed time we come, set the table and chairs, and serve lunch.” This is a trip free from packing, cooking and concerns.

Photo: Špacapanova Hiša archive

Chef's Restaurant

Špacapan House

Meat products are cured, cheeses are aged, and wine, spirits and vinegar are produced at Špacapan House. And the food is first-class.

Read more