VUM Alumni: Stories of Success > Krasimir Banaliev

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I’m Krasimir Banaliev, currently third year student in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts at the Culinary Arts Institute. Let me tell you why I chose this path and why I’m absolutely loving it.

First off, let’s talk about the Culinary Arts Institute. It’s not just any culinary school; it’s the crème de la crème, especially here in Bulgaria. The program they offer for aspiring chefs is top-notch, and that’s exactly what drew me in. But what really sealed the deal for me were the internships. I mean, where else can you get the chance to work in Michelin-starred restaurants like Speilsalen in Norway, Kokkeriet in Denmark, Txoko in Spain, M.B, or Überfahrt in Germany? These experiences have been invaluable. Each kitchen taught me something unique, honing my skills and shaping me into the professional chef I am today.

Right now, I’m knee-deep in my thesis, pouring over research and ideas like there’s no tomorrow. But that’s not all—I’m also wearing the hat of a head chef at Kota 0, one of the a la carte restaurants nestled in GRIFFID Vistamar. It’s all about combining techniques with flavors that dance on the palate, creating culinary masterpieces that leave guests in awe.

Competitions? From snagging second place in the Biorest Cup 2023 to being part of the Culinary Team of Bulgaria in 2022, and even clinching the titles of Best Young Chef of BHRA in 2018 and Best Young Chef of Bulgaria in 2019.

There’s something exciting on the horizon—I’m gearing up to be the head chef of three brand-new a la carte restaurants in the upcoming Grifid NOA 5*. It’s a challenge I’m ready to take on with gusto.

And hey, let’s not forget about giving back. I believe in paying it forward, which is why I’m always involved in charity work whenever I can squeeze it into my schedule.

My motto? Simple: If you want something in life, go out and get it. Nothing’s impossible if you set your mind to it. So here’s to chasing dreams, creating culinary magic, and making a difference, one dish at a time.