Why does Chef Hugues Boutin from Canada like Bulgarian “lyutenitsa”? Why do young chefs from all over the world choose to study culinary arts in Varna? What are the current standards and trends in culinary education? How does a professional Chef with over 25 years of international experience find Bulgarian cuisine and Bulgarian clients?

These were only a small part of the topics in the TV show “Knowledge.BG” of the Regional Center of Bulgarian National Television, hosted by the Culinary Arts Institute at Varna University of Management.

In the cozy atmosphere of the new study restaurant, the CAI Programme Director and Head Chef Instructor Chef Hugues Boutin spoke about the standards in the training of professionals in culinary arts, the need for discipline, dedication, passion and high motivation, the exceptional role of the team work to achieve high results.

He also shared his impressions of the Bulgarian restaurant industry and the need for food to be seen as a source of happiness and pleasure, not as a necessity. “Does the client identify and guide trends – yes! But is the client always right – no! That is why we need to educate the clients as well, not just students, to appreciate what we serve them.” said Chef Hugues, stating that a certain amount of adaptation to the specificities of the culture, environment and conditions in which a Chef works is always needed.

Chef Boutin shared his first “clash” with Bulgarian cuisine as soon as he arrived in Bulgaria in 2015 and the most delicious “Shopska” salad he tasted then. He expressed his love for the autumn season, which brings the aroma of home-made “lyutenitsa” and roasted peppers, as well as for traditional dishes typical for the small towns, because, in his opinion, it is food made with the heart, which is always the best food.

The TV team had the opportunity to taste a specially prepared by the CAI students Iskra Hristova Musa and Ivan Saramandov dessert with Bulgarian yoghurt espuma, hibiscus sucre dough, poached peaches and white chocolate powder

Of course, the word was given to the students as well. Rogers Mutanda from Uganda, Tia Huttemann from Canada, Ercan Cevik from Turkey, Fadi Magdi from Egypt and Sretko Sretkov, Dayana Velikova and Aycha Gyurkan from Bulgaria shared what motivated them to choose the Culinary Arts Institute in Varna, namely the strong practical orientation of the training, the high professionalism and rich international experience of the Chef Instructors, the international mobility opportunities and internships in high-end and Michelin starred restaurants and last but not least – the conditions of a modernly equipped professional kitchen and the training restaurant.

CAI students also demonstrated to the TV team their practical skills and shared how they felt and what they were preparing for the upcoming thematic dinner. Mariyan, Laura, Nikolay and Margaret presented the “Thai Meets Europe” menu, the main dish of which was duck magret with 7 spices, curry foam with jasmine rice and crispy shallots.

“What I strive for is that one day they will become better Chefs than I am, and I’m really glad to see that they have a lot of progress,” commented Chef Instructor Kaloyan Kolev.

You can watch the whole video here.