My culinary journey
started very spontaneously and with a great measure of joy. We were regularly gathering with friends and most of the time we were cooking. During the time there were always more of us because our friends brought their friends and acquaintances, and later even friends from acquaintances joined. From the totally unpredictable, joyful group of people, we founded a society where we cheerfully cook and successful experiment in our work – still today.
Many years ago, my father and mother opened a restaurant Skaručna, which is run by my brother. The Gourmet Club is just a few steps away from the restaurant. In short, when I was still small, I and my father went daily to buy food, wine, and then to farm for sausage and meat to another. At the same time, we tirelessly collected antiques. As a result, our large gourmet house is a true collection of antiques. No wonder, since my father, as a child, really impressed me with the collection of antiques, so I later found the right place for them, and many of them I still use today for more domesticity, especially when preparing traditional Slovenian cuisine. Some people may feel that they have visited the museum when they enter our house because space is adorned with numerous utensils and exhibits from the time of our grandmothers, each of which carries its own story.
I can proudly say that the gourmet rooms of our Gourmet club Skaručna are famous all around – especially for excellent home-made food, and even more so for unforgettable entertaining thematic events, from which no one goes indifferent. For our visitors, we offer a completely different kind of entertainment than they are used to. On arrival, they must try at least one spike of different spirits; for those who do not drink alcohol, home-made apple, beans, or mint juice are available. To increase the homeliness, the visitors place on themselves the apron, they fill the glass of wine, and slowly we go forward happily together to work.
The thematic events are very much connected with the Slovene traditional customs and the functioning of the club. This represents the red thread of the culinary event, but of course, then we never know where to take us. In all events, we make sure that the food and drinks do not run out. Participants are included in all activities, of course, as much as they want. In this way, they learn something new, but the food has a better taste if they are involved in its preparation. All that is happening, can not be done if the visitors do not socialize. Many of our acquaintances have already floundered in our events, many of them dance, move, socialize and laugh.
The essence of our club and kitchen is the preservation of Slovenian culinary heritage through traditional Slovenian dishes. Instead of exploring modern cuisine, I prefer to explore the best old dishes, which are a bit too much neglected in our country.
I first upgraded the original rooms and kitchen of the Gourmet Club with clean and orderly rooms where guests can stay overnight. Because of organized events and fun gatherings, this is only an advantage as guests can sleep or even stay. It is placed in the center of the village of Skaručna, which is an extremely good starting point for exploring the nearby and distant surroundings. Nearby guests have the opportunity to fish on standing and running waters (Zbiljsko Lake, Sava), skiing on Krvavec, riding, golf, and I could still count. I also had visitors who had traveled all over Slovenia to visit wine cellars and do some wine tasting. I seriously think about the program of two or three-day presentations of wine routes, farm tourism, and tourist farms across Slovenia.
I am connected to many of the best Slovenian farms and winemakers because I want to be part of the preservation of Slovenian culinary culture in all respects. Due to such connections, even with winemakers, at this point, I decided to rearrange the basement to the wine cellar and the wine bank, where you will find bottles of wines from the famous names of Slovenian wine producers and of course the archive of wines, aged 20 years and over. With our new acquisition, the Wine Cellar of the Gourmet Club Skaručna would like to offer Slovenian wine and culinary tradition at one place. The tasting of selected wines of Slovene winemakers, which will represent Slovene wine-growing regions, wine-growing areas and specially prepared snacks related to the places from which the wine originates, will impress all visitors on the senses. The wine stories that we will represent will be weaved by selected wines as well as food, which is related to the environment from which both of them come and carry with them the characteristics of the environment, as well as the history and the work of austere hands. Visitors who wish to taste wines will also be able to taste them at home, but there will always be a rich offer of the Wine Cellar of the Gourmet Club Skaručna.
I’m looking into the future and at the same time, I care about quality at the moment. With my team, I will continue to develop the Gourmet Club, which will offer everything that the real gourmets deserve. We will come closer to our members of the club in the future and offer them some benefits and events that will connect us more and which will make their place even closer to the gourmet corner. At the same time, we will expand the parallel offer of events for both business and private users, and we will upgrade our services with additional services. Rooms and accommodations are already familiar to our visitors, even those from the wide world. We will do even more so that everyone who ever visited us will be happy to return and bring others with us. So we will always know more about where to get “the right food for every gourmet.”
Marko Žagar, chef master