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Tomaž Bevčič

Rizibizi Restaurant

A desire to explore flavours and experiment with fresh ingredients gives him the energy to create new dishes.

About chef

Tomaž was deciding between a technical and a cooking school. In the end, his desire to cook prevailed. He saw a better perspective in it.

He is a cook because he enjoys it. Tomaž says that he becomes more fascinated with cooking every day. Because it allows him to explore, try new things and present to other people through culinary creations what you can actually do in the kitchen. Something different, innovative and eye-catching. And tasty to top it off. For Tomaž, taste always takes priority over appearance: “We must recognise the main ingredient in a dish, which must only be emphasised by other flavours.”

Favourite dish
Spaghetti with tomatoes

Because he eats this dish most often and will never get tired of it.

Favourite ingredient
Tomato

It provides endless options for transformation into various forms – from a cold dish to dessert.

Tomaž draws on his roots for his culinary creations, which is why he uses local and seasonal Istrian ingredients. He advocates the fact that their quality is better than that of ingredients that travel halfway around the world to get here. The basic ingredients must be top quality. He begins with what his parents, his grandmother and his grandfather taught him and makes something new using modern techniques. He has always been interested in what is happening, how things work technically. Not only in the kitchen, but also in other fields. Tomaž still likes combining various technological procedures in the kitchen.

Tomaž Bavčič
Photo: Rizbizi Restaurant archive
“A few years ago, I became interested in what was going on in the world and found that the sky is the limit for culinary creations.”

In light of this finding, he prepared katsuobushi sea bass with Istrian ingredients and a Japanese technique. By creating this exclusive dish, he tore down quite a few boundaries and connected both parts of the world. Imagine potato mousse with a sea bass fillet cooked in sea bass stock at 70°C temptingly sitting on it. Tomaž prepared the stock from 200 sea bass bones, which he first dried for 24 hours and then cooked for 48 hours. The white truffle on the top of the sea bass looks delicious. For a more perfected presentation, magical mist hovers over the plate. The excellent chef dipped two sautéed pieces of bread soaked in liquid nitrogen into the warm mousse. When warm and cold meet, magic happens…

Gastronomy in Rizibizi Restaurant
Photo: Rizbizi Restaurant archive

I change the menu seasonally, four times a year, and do not repeat it. I always try to start anew.

I change the menu seasonally, four times a year, and do not repeat it. I always try to start anew.
Tomaž always follows seasons and creates new dishes with the ingredients that are characteristic of the season. He bases a dish on the ingredient whose flavour will prevail. Then he seeks other ingredients to round the dish off. He tries to achieve interesting results with various techniques and processing methods. Making a dish takes a lot of time and tasting. “When you put a week’s work into one dish and taste it many times, you get attached to it and it’s difficult to be objective.” Therefore, his wife Patrizia and co-workers also taste his dishes. Then chef Tomaž leaves things be for a few days and begins working on another dish. When he tastes the first dish again after a while, it is easier to assess, add or remove. Sometimes, he changes the whole concept and transforms a starter into the main course.
However, a good idea and a sense of flavours, colours and plating are not enough. When a good chef gets an idea, they already think about the next step: how will the dish be created physically when a guest orders it? When the chaotic moment comes when all guests want this dish at the same time, you must be ready. If a cook doesn’t know how much time they need for a dish, some guests are served while others are still waiting. They might not be very happy. “Sometimes, a complex dish forces you to take a step back and think about the time it takes,” says Tomaž about the two crucial characteristics of a good cook – creativity and organisational skills.
Cooking enthralled Tomaž when he was a child and he has persistently walked on his path. It has brought him many challenges, including endurance challenges. As an eager young apprentice, he worked at an à la carte restaurant where they also hosted weddings. Tomaž jokes that he had a weekend package because his workday began at five in the afternoon on Friday and finished at six in the morning on Sunday. But he didn’t lose strength. He was back at his post at twelve, preparing lunch every weekend from May to September. But this was not his longest cooking marathon. He gave up three nights’ sleep to prepare for a competition for the Slovenian Hospitality and Tourism Convention organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. Three days of cooking, three days without sleep. To top it all off, he had to drive to the other end of Slovenia and quickly set up the plate. Tomaž competed four times and won a medal each time.

Photo: Rizbizi Restaurant archive

Chef's Restaurant

Rizibizi Restaurant

A view of the Gulf of Piran is even more beautiful if you are spoiled with superb seafood.

Read more