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Aleš Širca

Krasna House

A lover of Mediterranean cuisine that is successfully combined with genuine local products from the Karst.

About chef

Aleš has always had the desire to prepare and eat food, and has always enjoyed it. This was his first choice and he was not interested in anything else.

This is his job and pleasure, and he cannot imagine doing anything else. He says that being a chef is not simple by any means, as private life also suffers. Many people give up, most of them because they don’t start at the beginning. “Everyone wants to appear in the media. But one good dish doesn’t mean that you will get coverage all your life. You have to keep training and making progress.”

Favourite dish
One-pot meals

They feature many flavours, you can use everything in your garden, and they are made quickly and without complications.

Favourite ingredient
Butter

It is useful in all types of dishes – in starters, main courses and desserts.

Aleš favours Mediterranean cuisine, as he is closely connected with Spain and Italy. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that the menu at Krasna House, where he swings around his wooden spoon, includes many dishes and techniques from Spain. Otherwise, he works a lot with homemade pasta: “I use local ingredients, such as goat’s cottage cheese and goat cheese, the Jamar cheese, and pumpkins and chestnuts in the autumn, and I fill homemade ravioli with these ingredients.” Scandinavia interests him too, but he has not had the opportunity to explore it from the culinary perspective.

Chef Aleš Širca
Photo: Hiša Krasna archive
“How do you know that a cook is good? Because they enjoy what they do and don’t stagnate.”

His eyes sparkle when he speaks about cooking. “Creating in the kitchen isn’t everything, there are many other things behind it. I mean travelling and training. You have to pay attention, seek new recipes and ideas for them all the time. Just reading isn’t enough. You must be in contact with other cooks, try and listen.”

Slovenian cuisine at Hiša Krasna
Photo: Hiša Krasna archive

The feeling a dish evokes when you eat it is important. More important than the appearance of a dish.

For Aleš, cooking is talent and learning. “If you don’t have talent, you give up easily, but just talent isn’t enough. You must constantly be on top of culinary developments to stay up-to-date. The more you see, the more you know, and with some talent, this combination is a winner.” Talent in cooking is subjective. Aleš sees it in the way a cook combines ingredients and recognises which ingredients go together. “I have a special feeling for food. I believe that every good cook does. When I feel that a new dish is finished, I’m 99 per cent certain that other people will like it too. Sometimes, of course, things must first go wrong to go right,” he smiles mischievously.
At the kitchen of Krasna House, chef Aleš has his own work system adapted to the concept of reservations, which works. The team matters in a small or large kitchen: “For everything to fall into place and for guests to be happy, you must work with people you can trust. This means that you just make eye contact with the waiter and you know exactly what to do and how to do it.”
Sometimes, interesting ties and relationships develop outside of the kitchen with guests. A few years ago, Aleš met a Spanish man, a cook, who came to his restaurant completely by chance. They became friends and still visit each other. Aleš is very fond of Spain, including its cuisine. He is particularly fond of Madrid which is a melting pot of everything: “All regions come together in Madrid. In other parts of Spain, it’s the same as everywhere – seafood is in the forefront in places closer to the sea, while pork rules in inland regions. I like both, but if I had to choose, I’d choose meat over fish. Including pig’s ear, which is part of the zero waste concept (all parts of animals or vegetables are used) that is currently very popular in Slovenia, although it has been present in Spain for quite a while.”

Photo: Hiša Krasna archive

Chef's Restaurant

Krasna House

A boutique family hotel with a first-class restaurant and an authentic wine room.

Read more