Varna, January 25, 2024 – The culinary world is about to witness a burst of creativity as students from the Culinary Arts Institute at Varna University of Management (VUM) gear up for the next edition of the „Food Innovation Exhibition”. This unique event, driven by the innovative ideas of budding chefs, promises a feast for the senses with a range of unconventional and exciting culinary creations.

Under the module “Innovation and Creativity in Culinary Arts,” students from the “Gastronomy and Culinary Arts” and “Hospitality and Culinary Arts” programmes are tasked with developing and presenting their own groundbreaking products. These products must not only be unique to the market but also offer a novel experience for all the senses, emphasizing creativity in culinary arts.

Scheduled for January 25, 2024, the practical examination will take place at VUM, where students will set up stands showcasing their innovative products. The products will be evaluated by a panel of experts, including Chef Hugues Boutin, Director of the Culinary Arts Institute, Associate Professor Dr. Maya Ivanova, Head of the Tourism Department, and Assist. Prof. Irina Petkova, Programme Director of the “Culinary Arts Management” programme for VUM’s strategic academic partner, Cardiff Metropolitan University.

External evaluators, seasoned professionals from the culinary sector, will also play a crucial role in the assessment. This year, the event will again be graced by the participation of Metro Academy Bulgaria, which will reward the most successful ideas with special prizes. Representatives from “Metro Academy” will personally evaluate the proposed products.

Among the standout ideas on the 2024 exhibition are: PowerChews (chewing gummy bears for pre-workout), Protein Marshmallows, Boosterka Energy Gum (bubble gum with caffeine), Spice Up (aroma deodorant), Garbanzo Elegance (Chickpea chocolate Dip), Halvandula (Lavender and spirulina halva), and many others.

The Culinary Arts Institute at Varna University of Management is known for its practice-oriented approach, emphasizing innovation and research elements in culinary arts education. Students not only gain academic knowledge but also accumulate practical skills from the onset of their studies, preparing them for real-world challenges.

The Institute’s practical training covers a broad spectrum of hospitality and culinary arts activities. Students plan and organize more than 20 thematic events each semester, providing hands-on experience in a specially equipped training restaurant. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in external events, including exhibitions, fairs, charity events, culinary demonstrations, and competitions, both domestically and internationally.

A distinctive feature of the Culinary Arts Institute is its collaboration with over 100 high-end and even Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe. This collaboration allows students to gain practical training abroad, joining the teams of some of the world’s best restaurants for their summer internships. It equips them with the skills and values necessary to become future entrepreneurs and leaders in the food industry. The institute’s commitment to excellence and practical training ensures that students are well-prepared for the dynamic and competitive culinary landscape.