Beeswax, Peaches and Elderflower

Beeswax, Peaches and Elderflower

Beeswax, Peaches and Elderflower, Sun and Rain by Ana Roš. Photography by Suzan Gabrijan.

Ana Roš, considered one of the world’s best chefs, is the chef and owner of Hiša Franko in the Slovenian countryside.

Hiša Franko, one of the world’s most celebrated restaurants, is situated in Slovenia’s lush and remote Soca Valley, resting between the foothills of the mountains and a stunning turquoise river. One of the most influential and inspiring talents, Roš took the helm at the restaurant in 2002, from her in-laws, without any culinary training. She now runs the restaurant with her husband, Valter, who is the in-house sommelier and cheese-monger.

Roš’s rebellious spirit and idiosyncratic style of cooking has contributed to putting her, the restaurant, and Slovenia on the map. In 2016 she appeared in an episode of the Netflix series Chef’s Table, in 2017 she was named the World’s Best Female Chef, and Hiša Franko is currently ranked #38 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Nearly all the restaurant diners travel from abroad to taste Roš’s cooking and experience the beautiful Slovenian landscape.

In Roš’s debut cookbook, her personal stories are weaved with Slovenian journalist, Kaja Sajovic’s essays across 15 chapters. Sun and Rain shares menu concepts, tales of fishing and foraging, descriptions of regional ingredients as well as stories of the characters who help the restaurant run. It also illuminates how the rugged landscape—from mountains, meadows, marshes, and rivers—provides the inspiration for the highly creative menus.

Sun and Rain is a visual delight with stunning illustrations of the Slovenian landscape, plated dishes, and ingredients that are accompanied by 90 recipes that have brought Hiša Franko critical acclaim and global attention. It highlights the stories behind Roš’s imaginative dishes like The Cow in the Hay, Bread and Milk, Cuttlefish Lard, Chickweed Paradise, The Peach and the Woodruff, and Rose Hip Praline.

The volume also includes an afterword by culinary critic Andrea Petrini, who writes, “Ana is our Slovenian Queenie. Add to that the most brilliant cook this part of the world has ever seen. She is, and also represents anything Slovenia might need: an ambassador, a culinary geo-politician.” Sun and Rain provides access to one of the most innovative chefs working today and will transport readers to the remarkable country and landscape that Roš has helped put on the map and where she continually gains inspiration.

Ana Ros: Sun and Rain is available at Amazon.com and Indigo.ca.


Beeswax, Peaches and Elderflower

We source beeswax and some honeys from Marija. She lives less than 2 kilometres (3⁄4 mile) from Hisa Franko and has an incredible knowledge about the material. She has been nominated as a Slovenian of the year for her work with bees. This dish has been created for a four-hand dinner in Quintonil in Mexico City with my amazing friends Alejandra and Jorge.

Serves 16 ↗

For the beeswax infusion
350 g melted beeswax
300 ml cream
salt

For the beeswax crème Anglais
60 g egg yolks
4 g sugar
250 g beeswax infusion (see above)
salt

For the peach salad
3 kg sweet, hard peaches
500 kg sugar
3 vanilla pods
70 ml elderflower vinegar

For the peach and elderflower gel
1.2 l peach juice
1 l peach syrup
1 l elderflower syrup
25 g agar agar
10 g gelespessa

For the peach kernel ice cream

2 l milk
2 l cream
750 g peach kernels
20 g salt
5 egg yolks
75 g sugar
30 g cornflower (cornstarch)
300 ml milk
300 ml cold peach kernel infusion

To serve

elderflowers

Mix the beeswax infusion ingredients and infuse them on a bain-marie for 3 hours. Cool the infusion at room temperature for 24 hours. After 1 day, strain through the cheesecloth.

Proceed with crème anglaise. Beat the yolks and sugar on the bain-marie until it reaches 70°C (158°F), whipping the egg yolks with sugar. Add the warm infusion of beeswax and bring it to 83°C (181°F) while mixing all the time on a bain-marie. Add the soaked gelatine leaves. Cool it down, while covered.

Peel the peaches and cut into 5 mm (1⁄4 in) squares. Keep the offcuts. Bring the sugar and 800ml water to a boil. Add the vanilla pods, peach offcuts and vinegar. Let it infuse for 24 hours. Strain. Vacuum seal the peaches with the liquid and preserve it in iced water.

To make the peach and elderflower gel, put all the ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil and allow to set. When cold, blend, pass through a tamis 3 times and place in a piping (pastry) bag.

Let the milk, cream, peach kernels and salt infuse for 24 hours. Blend and strain through a cheesecloth. Mix all the ingredients and freeze in Pacojet containers.

To serve, place the peaches and gel on the plates, add the ice cream and pour the beeswax English cream over the top. Finish with fresh elderflowers.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Phaidon.

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