The next edition of the unique “Food Innovation Exhibition”, in which the main acting chefs are the students of the Culinary Arts Institute at Varna University of Management, is coming up. As part of the module “Innovation and Creativity in Culinary Arts”, students from “Gastronomy and Culinary Arts” and “Hospitality and Culinary Arts” must create their own innovative products as well as develop their implementation in real-world settings. The products must be unique, not existing for the given market, and also to offer a new experience for all senses. Above all, however, the task of the students is to go through the entire cycle – from the birth of an innovative idea, through planning and implementation, to the introduction of operational production and positioning it as a finished product on the market. In this way, the students have the opportunity to use all the acquired knowledge and skills from their studies at the university and demonstrate that they are ready to succeed in a real-world setting.

On 25 January 2023, the practical part of the students’ examination will take place at VUM. They will prepare their own stands where they will offer their innovative products to the guests and the module lecturers – Chef Hugues Boutin – Director of the Culinary Arts Institute, Associate Professor Dr. Maya Ivanova – Head of the Tourism Department and Assistant Irina Petkova – program director of the “Culinary Arts Management” program for VUM’s strategic academic partner, Cardiff Metropolitan University. External evaluators – professionals from the culinary sector – will also be included in the evaluation.

This year we will enjoy the special participation of “Metro Academy”, which will reward the most successful idea with a voucher for BGN 1000. Their representatives will personally come to try and evaluate the proposed products.

Some of the innovative ideas this year are Lavash chips, Lutenitsa with strawberries, Erotic lollipops, Mustard with Bulgarian taste, Fresh pasta with savory, Baklava with chocolate and eggplant, Gozba dip, Candy with rakia (Bulgarian brandy) and many others.

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.

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