The idea for the book appeared in year 2017 when, in cooperation with DC Public School, DC Central Kitchen and with help of Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Washington, the Slovenian meals were placed in all 113 Public Schools in Washington DC or made for 50.000 pupils. May 10, 2017 declared the mayor of Washington as a Slovenian food day. For this purpose, on the initiative of the Government Communication Office of RS, we published our first English version of the book, with short collection of recipes. The book was a gift to all Public Schools in order to prepare Slovenian dishes also in the future. The book contains the message of the World Best Women Chef 2017, Ana Roš.
Children from Slovene primary schools have ventured where experts rarely take a peek – into their grandmother's, relative’s and neighbour’s kitchens. Through the Kuhnapato research project, which includes a beneficial trans-generational communication, they treat us with almost forgotten dishes which have left a significant mark in specific cultures of certain places, towns and villages. Throughout this project and through collaboration with renowned chefs, the kids gain a tremendous cooking experience and enthusiasm while creating dishes that are worthy of becoming gastronomical trademarks of their regions and additional reason for tourist to visit them.
Such simple dishes, which combine some rare local and seasonal ingredients typical for specific geographical areas, have an appealing and pristine taste which gives us the confidence to consider Slovene culinary achievements as great as those of the renowned culinary superpowers. From its humble beginnings, the project has evolved into a movement with specific goals, such as encouraging the youth to respect their own culinary heritage, learning about and using locally grown food also in contemporary cooking and motivating them to broaden their knowledge about geographical and cultural origins of local dishes. Through cooperation between primary school pupils, their teachers, caregivers and experts, this project connects the whole Slovene public.
With their ever growing desire for participation in this project, these kids convinced us that the vaults of our culinary heritage haven’t been emptied yet. Therefore we bow with respect in front of all these creative cooks, researchers and food producers for taking the path of responsibility and proving that they really do care! This path they’ve chosen leads to long term health benefits, preservation of farms and related jobs, it nurtures respect and understanding for one’s surroundings also through research of local cultural history and local seasonal and geographical peculiarities. It is the path of learning about superb culinary achievements, creations and sophisticated flavours, the path of education and preservation of one’s own nation! In order to build a firm base for our future, we need to learn about our history – also the history of our food.
During the past six years of research, the Slovene primary school pupils have saved from fading into oblivion more than 1000 dishes, related cooking techniques and cultural background, which were published in five cookbooks. This cookbook contains a selection of interesting and tasty regional dishes which were presented by children and have gained most accolades from culinary experts and sophisticated gourmets. We wish you a pleasant read and bon appétit!