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Peter Kovač

Restavracija Maxim

A culinary artist, a seeker of genuine flavours and a creator of haute cuisine that people can relate to.

About chef

Peter is a sanitary engineer by education. He says that this is noticeable in his favourite cooking technique.

Peter is a chef who was born to be a chef. He hails from a hospitality family and grew up with cooking. He washed dishes in the family restaurant at twelve years old and cooked at the age of fifteen. Cooking has never been a job for him, but rather a way of life. It was clear that he would do it professionally.

Favourite dish
One-pot meals of all kinds

He loves simple stews.

Favourite ingredient
Homemade veal tail or beef shank

A high-quality Slovenian ingredient, meat that becomes very tender when cooked for a long time.

Chef Peter’s favourite cooking technique is sous vide: “Slow cooking in a vacuum has many advantages. We get more flavours, freshness and juiciness due to the low temperature, and ingredients keep their colour and fragrance as there is no oxidation.” The sous vide technique enables Peter to prepare everything from firm veal tail to sweet apricot jam, which only takes an hour to make at 65°C.

Peter Kovač
Photo: Maxim Restaurant archive
“Never say that you know it all.”

A good cook is self-critical. The culinary world keeps developing, techniques and procedures change, new combinations of raw ingredients are discovered, and if you want to follow that, you must be present all the time. To this end, Peter carefully follows everything that is going on, trains and reads a lot. He believes that cooking also requires talent: “Talent means that you know how to match ingredients, how to combine the right flavours and textures.

Gastronomy in Maxim Restaurant
Photo: Maxim Restaurant archive

You prove yourself most with a tasting menu, as you offer guests several different dishes

Creating new dishes is a complex process, a kind of art, which sometimes takes Peter up to a whole year. He intensively thinks about it all the time, even at home in his free time, followed by putting the dish together. He is particularly interested in the combination of meat and vegetables. But meat is frequently pushed to the side and vegetables constitute the main course because our ingredients are top quality. Chef Peter likes to show off the tasting menu that includes numerous options and combinations. He once rewarded (and fascinated) a group of guests who left the selection of 14 courses completely to him.
He openly adores desserts. As he describes vividly a cucumber mousse, sautéed pineapple, sour cream and the addition of various types of pepper, he makes even the most doubting Thomas crave them. The greatest reward for his work is joy when guests are satisfied: “Once a guest ordered a combination of roasted foie gras with ravioli with whey cheese and apricots for a starter and was so fascinated with it that he ordered it again for dessert.”
Peter Kovač worked as an assistant to the great chef Andrej Kuhar at the elite Maxim restaurant in Ljubljana for four years. He learned a lot from him and inherited his position as a chef. Today at Maxim, he brings his cooking philosophy to life – to create haute cuisine that doesn’t scare guests, but that guests can relate to. He tries to use homemade and home-grown ingredients and ingredients with the shortest path to the kitchen, and to produce authentic flavours.

Photo: Maxim Restaurant archive

Chef's Restaurant

Restavracija Maxim

Maxim has been one of the most prominent Ljubljana restaurants for decades.

Read more