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Urh Kapelar

Na Pul` Restaurant

A seeker of the perfect flavour follows the rules of traditional French cuisine and the quality principle of ‘from the field to the table’.

About chef

Urh is fascinated by working with people, friendship in the kitchen and adrenaline in the evening when the restaurant is full of guests.

He grew up cooking so to speak, as his uncle was a professional cook. He gained knowledge in Slovenia and Great Britain in first-class hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants. He has gradually developed his unique style, and has respect for ingredients and techniques. His dishes are simple and tasty, yet distinctive and breathtaking. He says that he enjoys his job, and likes working with and for people. When he works well, he feels good.

Favourite dish
Chicken terrine

Urh likes the modesty of the dish on a plate, despite its preparation taking three days.

Favourite ingredient
Puff pastry

Urh was taught how to roll it by chef Oliver Lešnik. He has deemed it ‘fantastic’ ever since.

Cooking is about desire, because with desire comes the motivation to learn and work. Mere talent is not enough in this type of job. Anyone who wants to be a good or even a great cook must follow the learning curve and go through the whole learning process. It is similar in sports – someone may be a great talent but have more trouble reaching the top than someone who is disciplined and works hard to succeed.

Chef Urh Kapelar
Photo: Jošt Gantar, Na Pul' Restaurant archive
“A cook must focus on the there and then, not on their career in three years.”

Urh’s mentor in Great Britain, chef Oliver Lešnik, left a deep mark on him. He quickly brought Urh down to earth by telling him that there are no shortcuts. There is no shorter way to the top and you cannot make progress faster. A cook must have two important characteristics: organisation and continuity. “Continuity is reflected in that you always deliver the same plate. This might hinder creativity, but maintains the quality that each guest deserves.” Urh, for example, only prepares freshwater fish. “Because I don’t have enough experience with saltwater fish, I couldn’t provide continuity.” He believes that a cook can achieve continuity only by being organised and precise and having a clean work station.

Gastronomy in Na Pul' Restaurant
Photo: Jošt Gantar, Na Pul' Restaurant archive

A dish must be tasty. Today, there is too much theorisation, while it is only important that a dish tastes good to a guest.

Urh follows the guidelines of traditional French cuisine. He respects the rules and established principles. He always bases a dish on two compatible ingredients, such as beef and onions (or mushrooms, eggs, asparagus, etc.). These are the crucial ingredients. In the next step, he combines further ingredients according to the rules. What goes with onions? In the meantime, he already pictures in his head the dish on a plate. He puts the idea on paper and cooks it. Several times. At least ten times. Only when he is completely satisfied does he offer it to his guests. Urh generally sticks to the rule that he cooks what he likes to eat.
He seeks inspiration in his surroundings. He hails from Zasavje and loves dishes with potatoes, crackling, sour cream or green beans. He modernises dishes and adds a pinch of sophistication, transforming traditional Slovenian cuisine into modern cuisine. The country Pule Estate flooded with tranquillity, peace and idyllic nature provides him with new inspiration. In the garden, a hotbed, the orchard or a beehive where they produce honey. “I use local ingredients whenever possible, because they’re simply good. And also because I’m in regular contact with suppliers and the path to purchase is shorter.” In this way, he can follow his cooking seasonal–local–sustainable philosophy.
Chef Urh is said to have a distinct style and keeps searching for the perfect flavour. But most important to him is that his guests enjoy the experience. “Cooks forget this too often, because we want to be innovative and provocative.” The first rule is that food must be tasty. Guests enjoy food because it is tasty, not because it is provocative. “Dishes are sometimes presented as very interesting, but then the taste disappoints. It just isn’t good.” He doesn’t want that in his kitchen.

Photo: Jošt Gantar, Na Pul' Restaurant archive

Chef's Restaurant

Na Pul` Restaurant

An enchanting estate for unforgettable (culinary) experiences.

Read more