The educational programs of the Culinary Arts Institute at Varna University of Management are inspired by innovation, enhanced practical learning and training, research elements and an innovative cooking approach.
Our students acquire important theoretical knowledge in basic areas such as accounting, pricing, marketing, business communications, human resources management, and also study specialized modules such as Culinary arts technology, Innovation and creativity in gastronomy and culinary arts, International restaurant management, Organization of special events and more. Their practical training takes place in the professional environment of the Culinary Arts Institute under the guidance of an international team of Chef instructors with extensive practical experience in elite restaurants in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America.
As part of their training, students conduct mandatory internships with a total duration of up to 12 months. Thanks to the rich and diverse network of active international partners of VUM, our graduates get the opportunity to work with some of the best Chefs in the world, to gain valuable experience in high-end restaurants, awarded with Michelin stars.
But despite the uniqueness of our programs, our constant desire to learn and develop gave birth to the idea of creating and introducing new and modern disciplines in the learning process.
With a lot of diligence and attention to detail, we have created a uniquely combined set of short intensive modules, designed to stimulate the growth of our students as professionals in the HoReCa industry.
Waste control management
An essential part of Culinary education is the knowledge of how to minimize food waste and use as much of each product as possible – this philosophy is the basis of sustainable cooking. Our goal here is to demonstrate to our students many ways to include otherwise neglected parts of products or garnishes, plate them beautifully or even use them to prepare a dish entirely based on a “waste product”. Food waste control is important for maintaining the level of food costs and stimulates students’ creativity to create new interesting dishes.
This module is designed to understand the role of molecular cuisine in world gastronomy and the individual nutrients in the plate, that can be used for entertainment or even to pleasantly surprise our guests. In this module, students studying different equipment and textures, will assess and boost their capabilities, and creativity. The knowledge and skills, formed in this discipline should help students to work safely and effectively with products related to molecular cuisine, as well as to be able to come up with fresh gastronomic ideas and properly implement them in their menus.
Social Media Marketing for Chefs
The purpose of this module is to help future chefs build and develop their image as professionals, using the various social media platforms used today. With the participation of guest lecturers and social media marketers, such as Benjamin Wilde from hashtagtourism.com, our students will learn more about the role of different social platforms, the proper use of each of them and how to stimulate their professional growth using digital marketing tools.
Introduction to photography
In this module, our students will gain a basic understanding and knowledge of the art of food photography, while using a professional camera or even their smartphone camera. Through theoretical and practical classes, students will learn more about the formats of photos, differences, settings, lenses, props and other necessary tools of the culinary photographer. With the help of special guest lecturers and teachers, they will understand how to use different photo editing programs to achieve a better and more natural result when it comes to shooting food.
After an extensive master class by our head chef instructor, who has his own YouTube channel, website and many professional shots, our students will learn more about the basics of culinary photography and how to use this concept to maximize their presence and develop their brand’s name. Through practical assignments, they will have the chance to practice different aspects of culinary photography and create their own portfolio.
After the end of the first semester, our students will have the chance to manage our training restaurant. To support their managing role, we will provide them with a double dose of knowledge – one about classic and the other about modern bartending. In this module, students will have the chance to learn not only recipes for classic cocktails from around the world, but also the psychology of the bartender, body language, modern types of drinks and digestifs, subtleties in both staff and restaurant management.
At the end of this series of classes, our students will be given the exciting task of creating their own professional website, using the tools and knowledge gained during the semester (following the specific guidelines and requirements of their supervisors and guest lecturers).
The modules will be implemented every Friday, for several hours during the semester, in order to give students the time to implement the different tasks for each specific module and to practice what they have learned throughout the semester.
Last but not least, our idea and philosophy of teaching is to prepare our students for the real work environment, not only as chefs, head-chefs, culinary managers, but also to give them an advantage on the labor market and allow them to grow and prosper as confident future innovators and leaders on the culinary scene!