I was born in 1988 in Sofia, Bulgaria, but grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark after moving there at the age of six. The launching point of my culinary career was on the first day of my 2 week “work experience” at a reputable restaurant in Copenhagen at the age of 13. I was sold from the moment I was handed my first “xs” sized chef jacket and had to stand on a bucket to use the broiler.
My father is a keen hunter and fisherman and he handed down some sound values of how we in that aspect are responsible to aid the sustainability of our ecosystem. This is something that has greatly influenced my approach to every aspect of cooking. I feel directly responsible for an ethical kitchen with all that it entails.
I have never actually qualified as a chef but wouldn’t consider myself self taught either. I have had patient mentors, coupled with a constant hunger for knowledge and an uncompromising attitude towards chasing experience and knowledge instead of monetary gains.
The restaurants that helped shape me and I really enjoyed working at were:
Otto’s ( Kitchener street, Auckland- now closed)
TriBeCa, in New Zealand (under Richard Harris and later Elliot Warne), where a pastry chef by the name of Hao Li (Hao Li pastry arts, Beijing) took me under his wing.
Bracu, in New Zealand ( first under Peter Thornley then Adrian Brett-Chinnery)
And “the hudson” on Darling Harbour in Sydney (which was my first head chef position -now closed)\
I enjoy doing stages in the kitchens of the San pellegrino top 100 to further my knowledge.
Other places I have worked include:
The grove, auckland
Hotel Debrett, Auckland
Wai Tan, Sydney
Auckland’s Waitakere Estate, Auckland
Recently I have put my professional cooking on hold in order to study food science at The University of Auckland. I am also working on a project called “the blue apron Collective” which is still in the planning stage, but should hopefully be ready to launch within the next five years.
The chefs I admire among many are:
Thorstein Schmidt (Malling & Schmidt)
Mads Refslund – previously (MR)
And of course the Adria brothers!