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The young and talented chef Leon Pintarič works at his family-run restaurant Rajh. This lovely spot is situated in the small village of Bakovci, Slovenia. From here, historic landmarks are well within reach, such as the stunning Murska Sobota Castle. In this exclusive interview, we caught up with Leon and talked about culinary trends, transforming traditional recipes and his love for Wienerschitzel.
Leon, can you tell us a little bit about yourf background?
As I grew up in a family that owns their own restaurant, Rajh, I already started working in a professional kitchen when I was in elementary school. Back then, I often helped on the weekends. After culinary school, I decided to gain experience abroad. My wish was to join the team in my family’s restaurant and, above all, to gain a sense of taste and knowledge from my great-grandmother. She has given me a lot of great guidance and I’m very grateful for her.
How would you describe your cooking style?
I love researching old recipes and updating them with a modern twist. That way I can preserve traditions. For instance, I have preserved the traditional dishes from the Prekmurje region by slightly reformulating the recipes in order to give them a lighter and deliciously fresh taste.
What's your favourite dish to make?
For me, there’s not really one specific dish I like making. I enjoy cooking everything.
What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
Pumpkin seed oil. It’s an interesting and very diverse kitchen ingredient that I use in all kinds of dishes, from appetizers to desserts.
Who is one of your top suppliers or producers?
All of our local suppliers are the backbone of each and every one of our traditional or revamped Prekmurje dishes. Each ingredient on the plate has its own name, a specific origin and heritage, and a story behind it. To name a few: Ham House Kodila, Kolenko´s Mill, Lušt Tomatoes, and Kocbek Oil Mill.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your culinary career?
Changing some things in the family restaurant, while keeping it just as welcoming as it was in the old times.
I love researching old recipes and updating them with a modern twist.
Which gastronomic trend are you excited about the most?
Keep it simple and go back to nature. It's the only right thing to do!
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would that be?
That has to be Wienerschnitzel.
Thank you, Leon.
Book your table at restaurant Rajh
Embark on a culinary journey and try chef Leon Pintarič’s tasty and re-imagined Slovenian dishes. You can book your table at restaurant Rajh in Bakovci with us.