12 days of christmas: ros… (2018)

– Slovenia is a small country, she told me. You can go from the beach to skiing in less than an hour. Wedged between Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungry, it’s a dynamic crossroad for wildly different cultures and culinary traditions.  And Ana Ros, chef of the Hiša Franko in Kobarid near the Italian border, is […]


Slovenia is a small country, she told me. You can go from the beach to skiing in less than an hour. Wedged between Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungry, it’s a dynamic crossroad for wildly different cultures and culinary traditions.  And Ana Ros, chef of the Hiša Franko in Kobarid near the Italian border, is excited by this diversity of her homeland.

Ros was the tenth guest chef to cook at this year’s Twelve Days of Christmas with hosting chef Christopher Kostow at The Restaurant at Meadowood.

Ana Ros.

Walking through the The Restaurant at Meadowood’s farm picking out greens and garnishes for her dishes, Ana Ros repeatedly told head farmer Zac Yoder not to fuss about consistency or beauty – she prefers the wildness and inconsistencies of nature. She’s more interested in the flavor, anyway.

At afternoon line-up, less than two hours before the restaurant’s doors would open to guests, Ros’s menu had not been finalized.  And she was perfectly calm about it, telling the staff that she prefers to cook this way, because the spontaneity often results in more intense flavors, which she likes.

And to her word, her flavors were intense.  There was lamb tartare dressed with very lamby lamb fat, served in a burnt onion cup.  There was rich foie gras soup fragrant with warm winter spices. She appropriately called it “Christmas soup.”

And perhaps the most interesting combination of flavors I experienced all series was Ros’s veal tongue topped with a warm oyster, all of it sauced with an intensely concentrated sauce made from red bell peppers.  As unique as I thought this was, surprisingly, it would not be the last time I’d see veal tongue and oysters at the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Chef Kostow brought to the menu a more classic and familiar set of flavors.  At the beginning of the meal, he served a bowl of cold vichyssoise. The velvety potato soup was poured over warm, tender new potatoes and a generous spoonful of osetra caviar.

Towards the end, he presented a beautifully glazed Pekin duck (that’s a breed, not a misspelling – although it probably is a bastardization of the origin of these Chinese birds).   These large ducks had been glazed with a concentrated cherry juice.  The breasts were carved and finished for plating.  The dark meat was also removed and incorporated into a comforting side of steamed, short-grain California rice.  I loved this course.

Somewhere in the first third of the meal, a candle was set on each table.  After the last meat course was cleared, servers came to each table to decapitate the top half of the wax trunk, revealing a surprise within – warm, creamy Cremeaux de Citeaux cheese.  The cheese was scooped out of the candle and served with honey and butter-fried bread from The Charter Oak.  This has been a crowd favorite for years.

Following is the entire menu from the tenth night of the Twelve Days of Christmas with chef Ana Ros of Hiša Franko in Kobarid, Slovenia.  Here is a link to all of the photos.


Soured milk.


1st Course
Christmas Foie Gras Soup

2nd Course
Winter Vichyssoise
Hot potato, cold potato, caviar, pea.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

3rd Course
Lamb Tartare
Dressed with lamb kidney fat, roasted onion, sunchoke.

4th Course 
Fermented apples and different textures of duck.

5th Course
Trompe l’Oeil
Spiny tail lobster, matsutake, celery root,
white truffle, pecan oil.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

6th Course
Glazed with pear, tonka bean, habanero, hay soup.

7th Course
Duck Broth
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

8th Course
Breast of White Pekin Duck
Glazed in preserved cherry juice;
rest of the duck in California rice.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

9th Course
Beef Tongue
Oysters, red bell pepper,
salad of charcoal-roasted borage and salicornia.

10th Course
Cremeux de Citeaux
Beeswax, honeycomb.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

11th Course
Sour Milk Ice Cream
Parsley, granite, porcini crumble.

Warm Chestnuts
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

Wine pairings.

Wine Pairing

Château de Bréze, Clos David, Val de Loire, 2015

Franz Hirtzberger Neuburger, Smaragd, 2013

Kongsgaard, Napa Valley Chardonnay, 2015

Qupé Syrah, Santa Barbara County, 1999

Ronco Severo, “Artiùl”, 2010

Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 1991

Day 10: Ros

Below are links to my posts and photos from all Twelve Days of Christmas dinners I have attended. Each chef is listed with the restaurant with which they were cooking at the time they participated in the event (some have moved on to other projects and restaurants).


Scott Anderson (Elements; Princeton, New Jersey)
John & Karen Shields (Formerly of Townhouse; Chilhowie, Virginia)
Phillip Foss (EL Ideas; Chicago, Illinois)
Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions; San Francisco, California)
Jason Franey (Canlis Restaurant; Seattle, Washinton)
Matthias Merges (Yusho; Chicago, Illinois)
Mori Onodera (Formerly of Mori Sushi; Los Angeles, California)
James Syhabout (Commis; Oakland, California)
Nick Anderer (Maialino; New York, New York)
David Toutain (Agapé Substance; Paris, France)
Josh Habiger & Erik Anderson (The Catbird Seat; Nashville Tennessee)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Andy Ricker (Pok Pok, Portland, Oregon & New York, New York)
Rodolfo Guzman (Boragó; Santiago, Chile)
Carlo Mirarchi (Blanca and Roberta’s; Brooklyn, New York)
Tim Cushman (O Ya; Boston, Massachusetts)
Ashley Christensen (Poole’s Diner; Raleigh, North Carolina)
David Chang (Momofuku; New York, New York)
Matthew Accarrino (SPQR; San Francisco, California)
Mark Ladner & Brooks Headley (Del Posto; New York, New York)
Rasmus Kofoed (Geranium; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Nicolaus Balla & Cortney Burns (Bar Tartine; San Francisco, California)
David Kinch (Manresa; Los Gatos, California)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Matthew Orlando (Amass; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Frank Castranovo & Frank Falcinelli (Frankies 457, Prime Meats; New York, New York)
Kobe Desramaults (In de Wulf; Dranouter, Belgium)
Alexandre Gauthier (La Grenouillère; La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France)
Blaine Wetzel (Willows Inn; Lummi Island, Washington)
Joshua McFadden (Ava Gene’s; Portland, Oregon)
Virgilio Martinez (Central; Lima, Peru)
Grant Achatz (Alinea; Chicago, Illinois)
Corey Lee (Benu; San Francisco, California)
Esben Holmboe Bang (Maaemo; Oslo, Norway)
Ignacio Mattos (Estela; New York, New York)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park, NoMad; New York, New York)
Nenad Mlinarevic (Focus; Vitznau, Switzerland)
Christian Puglisi (relæ; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Jorge Vallejo (Quintonil; Mexico City, Mexico)
Joshua Skenes (Saison; San Francisco, California)
Matthew Wilkinson (Pope Joan; Melbourne, Australia)
Kim Floresca and Daniel Ryan ([One]; Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Isaac McHale (The Clove Club; London, The United Kingdom)
Kyle Connaughton (Single Thread; Healdsburg, California)
Atsushi Tanaka (A.T. Restaurant; Paris, France)
Justin Yu (Oxheart; Houston, Texas)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Mark Lundgaard Nielsen (Kong Hans Kælder; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Manish Mehrotra (Indian Accents; New Dehli, India; New York, New York; London, U.K.)
Jeremiah Stone & Fabián von Hauske Valtierra (Contra & Wildair; New York, New York)
Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon & Tallula’s; Santa Monica, California)
Ben Sukle (birch & Oberlin; Providence, Rhode Island)
Sean Brock (McCrady’s, McCrady’s Tavern, Husk, & Minero; Charleston, South Carolina)
Yoshiaki Takazawa (Takazawa; Tokyo, Japan)
Thomas Keller (The French Laundry; Yountville, California)
Eric Werner (Hartwood; Tulum, Mexico)
Jock Zonfrillo (Orana; Adelaide, Australia)
Alexandre Couillon (La Marine; Noirmoutier, France)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Jose Enrique (Jose Enrique; San Juan, Puerto Rico)
David Pynt (Burnt Ends; Singapore)
Jessica Largey (Simone; Los Angeles, California)
James Lowe (Lyle’s; London, The United Kingdom)
Kamilla Seidler (formerly of Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Byung-jin Kim (Gaon; Seoul, South Korea)
Wojciech Modest Amaro (Atelier Amaro; Warsaw, Poland)
Justin Cogley (Auberine; Carmel, California) & Trevor Moran (Nashville, Tennessee)
Michael Tusk (Cotogna and Quince; San Francisco, California)
Ana Ros (Hiša Franko; Kobarid, Slovenia)

9th Course: Beef Tongue

Photos: Christopher Kostow, the team at The Restaurant at Meadowood, and Ana Ros plating during service; Zac Yoder showing Ros The Restaurant at Meadowood’s farm, along with David Guilloty; Guilloty plating a presentation of the cherry-glazed Pekin duck; Ros plating pumpkin; Kostow plating caviar for his “winter vichyssoise;” Ros plating cod course; Ros’s dessert of sour milk ice cream; duck broth in heated vessels; wine pairings for Day 10; chef Ros with Kostow and the team at The Restaurant at Meadowood; Ros’s tongue with oyster course; Kostow and Ros at line-up.

Categories 12 days 2018 dessert dining michelin restaurant

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