On Thursday, 23 June 2022, the Long Table of Kranj hosted 100 gourmets and enthusiasts for sustainability in the courtyard of the Khislstein Castle and such an event happened for the second year in a row. As a green, gold-awarded destination, Kranj is paving the way for sustainable development in the field of local gastronomy. Three more guidelines were added to the ones that were introduced last year (cooperation between Kranj caterers, as much local ingredients as possible, short supply chains, as little food waste as possible, plastic-free events, measuring the carbon footprint and the socially responsible aspect of the event): transfer of knowledge between generations, encouraging young people to become enthusiastic about catering professions, and above all, the further building of sustainable gastronomic brands in Kranj.
This year’s event was a pleasant get-together, characterised by, in addition to the whimsical summer weather, a feeling of togetherness between guests and caterers from Kranj, and the linking of culinary traditions with the current theme – climate-friendly cuisine. Five chefs of the Long Table made sure that visitors could get a taste of a gastronomic, climate-friendly menu. Aleš Kristan of the Pr’ Končovc holiday farm, Matjaž Sedej of the Dom na Joštu restaurant, Mirza Bektašević of the Sonet Bistro and Tomaž Polenec of the Brioni Café and Restaurant cooked under the guidance of chef Uroš Gorjanec of Gostilna Krištof. An important member of the cooking team, Nejc Rekar of Gostilna Rekar, was in charge of serving which was carried out by waiters of the Lakner Restaurant. In the spirit of intergenerational cooperation and encouraging the enthusiasm of young people for the catering professions, seven young cooking talents co-created the gourmet masterpieces: Ana Zevnik, Hana Kotar, Žan Triler, Martin Doljak, Matic Zupančič and Žan Stopar. The wines were provided by the House of Good Wines, Hiša dobrih vin Koželj, live music surprise by Ernestina Jošt, and the sound ambience was created by Uroš Rakovec on guitar and Marko Brdnik on accordion.
This year, one of the themes of the event was the social aspect – a healthy meal as a basic human right. Thirty meals were prepared especially for families in need. The meals, delivered to them by the Assistant Director of the Social Services Kranj, Andreja Valant, were paid for with a share of the tickets. The idea was supported also by Jožef Oseli, a veteran of excellent cuisine in Kranj, who, among other things, is involved in Cooks Without Borders and works to eliminate social inequalities. He was the one who prepared appetizers for the visitors of the Kranj Long Table.
The event was organised in a green, plastic-free way, with minimal food waste and a climate-friendly menu. The NGO Umanotera, which measured the carbon footprint of the event, explained that this menu contains a higher proportion of plant-based food and a lower proportion of meat and dairy products, and that the food is local, organically produced, seasonal and minimally processed. It is also important that it does not end up in the waste stream. In addition to the wine, guests were also served tap water from Kranj in special crystal water jugs made by Flaška, d.o.o..
Matjaž Rakovec, Mayor of Kranj, emphasised in his speech that the city of Kranj is on the path of introducing sustainable principles in all areas: “I presented the idea of the Kranj Long Table at the Geneva Forum in April as an example of good practice related to sustainability and smart solutions. In addition to this, we are one of the 100 European cities selected by the European Union to be part of the 2030 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission.” Rakovec thanked the visitors to this event for supporting sustainable gastronomy and urged them to continue to be as environmentally friendly as possible in all areas, “as this is not only good for the climate, but also for boosting the domestic economy.”
Klemen Malovrh, Director of the Kranj Tourism and Culture Board, added that this year we are aiming for the platinum label and hope to join the ranks of the most sustainable destinations in Slovenia. The organisation of the Kranj Long Table, one of our important sustainability projects, is very challenging, but it creates beautiful stories such as networking and cooperation between chefs, new events connected to food and, above all, the transfer of knowledge between caterers in Kranj. “100 of us will sit down at the 50-metre long table, and I thank everyone for supporting the sustainable idea we are putting into practice with the Kranj Long Table.” Thanks also go to the green sponsors of the event: 400 Gradi Pizzeria Napoletana, B PLUS, d. o. o., Elektro Gorenjska, d. d., Domplan, d. d., CMC GROUP, d. o. o., Zavarovalnica Triglav, d. d., PROVIA, d. o. o., RRD, Regijska razvojna družba, d. o. o., METROPOLAIN, d. o. o., Kron Telekom, poslovne komunikacije, d. o. o., Zavarovalnica Vzajemna. And a big thanks for the sunny decorations that were provided by the team of the renowned florist Matjaž Beguš, who chose sunflowers as their main motif.
Photos: Jure Eržen & Matej Povše / kolektiff