Slovenia is a candidate for the European Region of Gastronomy 2021. As a part of this project College of Hospitality and Tourism Maribor hosted and organized the National Preliminary competition of the European Young Chef Award (EYCA), award provided by IGCAT – International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism. Three students took part in the competition: Žiga Grofelnik (VSGT Maribor), Rok Žurman (VSŠGT Bled) and Timotej Matjaž (SŠGT Celje). Their task was to prepare a high-quality and modern interpretation of a traditional dish, which celebrated regional produce and was inspired by their own local environment. The winner was selected by the expert panel consisting of expert dr. Janez Bogataj, Srečko Koklič from Slovenia Chamber of Commerce and Filip Matjaž who represented Slovenia at the 2017 EYCA finals in Catalonia. Slovenian representative at the EYCA 2018 finals in Galway, Ireland in November is Rok Žurman with a creative dish of Bohinj trout, red beet sauce and buckwheat popcorn.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology Eva Štravs Podlogar who also attended the national competition emphasized the significance of this initiative for promoting young culinary skills in the Slovenian Region.