VUM Alumni: Stories of Success > Ivaylo Gaserov

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– Class of 2023

– Chef at Tollbua, Norway

Following my first year at the Culinary Institute, I embarked on an internship in Copenhagen, at a Michelin-starred restaurant. It was there that I discovered my passion for Scandinavian cuisine and lifestyle. Seeking further immersion, I pursued my next internship placement further north, at Speilsalen (a Michelin-starred establishment), where I trained under Christopher Davidsen. Christopher, a silver Bocuse d’Or medalist and twice coach of the Norwegian Bocuse d’Or team, later offered me a position upon completion of my internship. Returning to Speilsalen after my third year, Christopher’s departure to pursue his personal project, Nordic Gourmet Bistro, presented me with an exciting opportunity to contribute to the development of the restaurant. Our vision revolves around taste-oriented cuisine, utilizing local and seasonal ingredients. With Tollbua under my belt, I now have a diverse range of experiences to draw from, including opportunities within Mati Gruppen, a restaurant group that launched this year with the opening of Tollbua.

In 2023, I clinched second place in the ‘Chef of the Year’ competition, where I also competed for ‘Team of the Year’. Prior to this, I was honored with the title of ‘Young Chef of the Year’. Thanks to VUM, I not only graduated with a diploma in ‘Gastronomy and Culinary Arts’ but also in ‘Pedagogy of Hospitality and Restaurant Training’.