Slovenia’s chef of the future

Slovenia’s chef of the future
Photo by Nino Verdnik

15 September 2022 – 2022 has been a year full of achievements for chef Filip Matjaž, who represented Slovenia, European Region of Gastronomy 2021 and earned 3rd Prize at IGCAT’s European Young Chef Award 2017.

Besides being elected Chef of the Future by the Gault & Millau Slovenia Guide 2022, his restaurant COB received its first Michelin star at the third edition of the Michelin Guide Slovenia 2022.

“The name COB derives from the restaurant’s mission: Cooking Outside the Box. In practice, this means that a guest is in for an unexpected and unknown culinary experience with an emphasis on original Istrian flavours.” – Slovenian Tourist Board

Cooking Outside the Box is “an excellent description of the cuisine served at this restaurant, namely traditional Istrian dishes reinterpreted with a creative and imaginative twist.” – Michelin Guide

Supported by his brother and sommelier at COB, Patrik Matjaž, through his work as a chef Filip has been promoting important values such as sustainability, the use of local products, and innovation on traditional cuisine to provide unique culinary experiences, in line with the principles and philosophy he signed up to as IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassador.

His strive to pursue sustainability has also been awarded by renowned labels such as Green Key and Slovenia Green Cuisine, and makes him of great inspiration for the coming young chefs generations.

About the European Young Chef Award

The European Young Chef Award is an annual competition organised by IGCAT that gathers young culinary talents from the awarded and candidate European Regions of Gastronomy. Selected each year through local contests, finalists to the European Young Chef Award compete by innovating traditional recipes from their regions using local ingredients.

The 6th edition of the European Young Chef Award is organised and promoted by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) and will be hosted by Trondheim-Trøndelag, European Region of Gastronomy 2022 on 10-13 November 2022.

About the European/World Regions of Gastronomy

Candidate and awarded World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; drive environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; support balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlight and support expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practises; and contribute to community health and well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance to protect and promote distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguard our planet, health, wellness and local economies.

IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.