Creativity, Innovations and the Most Delicious Exams Ever

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The role of hands-on training for the professional realization in the tourism industry

Varna University of Management is organizing the first edition of the“Food Innovation Exhibition” culinary event, which will present unique culinary products and developments of the students in the “Gastronomy and Culinary Arts” and “Hospitality and Culinary Arts” Programmes.

As a part of their “Innovations and Creativity in the Culinary Arts” module, the Culinary Arts Institute’s  students have the task to invent and present an innovative and creative culinary idea, as well as to offer a way of its practical realization, namely to follow the algorithm for elaboration and development of a new product. Students should create their own original dishes with unique recipes that have not been used before. Some of the young Chefs have focused on the visual experience associated with their product, while others emphasize on taste qualities or non-standard texture, trying interesting, even eccentric, combinations of foods and products, or using traditional elements from their national cuisine.

During the event the young Chefs will demonstrate their innovative culinary products in front of the evaluation board (lecturers team including Chef Hugues Bouitin, Assoc. Prof. Maya Ivanova, eng. Irina Petkova and Mr. Clive Horscroft), as well as F&B industry representatives and tourism professionals. The demonstration aims to attract business investors, who would appreciate the talents and skills of the students, but also might be interested to buy and launch in the real practice some of the ideas.

The organisation of the event itself is an exam for students in another VUM Programme, namely International Hospitality Management, as part of their “Conferences, exhibitions and corporate events” module. Thus, they will be able to put into practice the lessons learned and to plan, organize and manage a real event – an experience that is of great benefit to the young professionals completing their education prepared for the real work environment.

The training in Culinary Arts Institute at Varna University of Management is practice-oriented and characterized by innovation, research elements and unconventional approach to culinary arts. Along with the academic knowledge, students start to accumulate considerable practical skills from the beginning of their studies, which prepares them for a real work environment and helps their professional and creative development.

The practical training of students is carried out in different directions, in order to familiarize them with the whole range of activities in the field of hospitality and culinary arts.Under the guidance of their Chef Instructors, each semester students plan and organize more than 30 thematic events, during which real clients book seats in the specially equipped training restaurant. In the course of their studies, students also get the opportunity to participate in a number of  external events – exhibitions, fairs, charity events, culinary demonstrations, competitions and more, both in Bulgaria and abroad. A key advantage of studying at the Culinary Arts Institute at VUM is the opportunity to spend up to 12 months in practical training abroad and to join the teams of some of the best restaurants in the world. The University collaborates with more than 80 Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe to offer students best practices and focus them on every detail of the actual operation of the restaurant and catering business, building on the values and skills that are required for the future entrepreneurs and leaders in the food industry.