About the chef
It wasn’t until halfway through her law degree that Antonia Klugmann fell in love with cooking. Her first 4 years in the business were spent interning wherever she could. Unfortunately, her apprenticeship was cut short after a bad car accident which meant she had to stay home for almost 1 year.
During her time recovering, Antonia started her own vegetable garden acquiring a newfound respect for the ingredients. She understood that the part she loved most was the creative process. In 2006, she opened her first restaurant and her dream of becoming a chef became reality.
After a 5 year experience that confirmed her strong desire to present a creative style of cuisine and that placed her on the national scene, she started searching for a new location to develop a project that could truly represent her.
She discovered a wonderful place in the countryside of the Collio region: a mill from the 17th century surrounded by vineyards and a river – Judrio – located just 1 mile from the Slovenian border. A multicultural territory where different people have continued to communicate with one another and work together for centuries, despite politics and wars.
It took 4 years to build L’Argine a Vencò; a modern structure - contiguous to the ancient mill - with large windows that overlook the garden and the vineyards. The restaurant opened its doors in 2014 and a few months later it received its first Michelin star.
The cuisine celebrates the surrounding territory; not renovating traditions but using local ingredients and the best techniques to respect their essence. The English translation of ‘L’Argine a Vencò’ is ‘The riverbank (or the river border) of Vencò’. It also alludes to the border between Italy and Slovenia, less the 1 mile from the restaurant. In Vencò, as everywhere, a border is not only the end of something but also the beginning of something else.