HRC's Academic Board

Dr. Cees Van der Klip

Dr. Van der Klip joined our team in 2008 after years spent as the Dean of the Maastricht (Netherlands) Hotel Management School. During his long career in education, Dr. Van der Klip won many awards, most notably the 2004 Eurhodip Award for the best educational performance and the President’s Award by CHRIE for outstanding achievement in hospitality education. He also was granted an award by Koninklijke Horeca Nederland for outstanding performance in the Dutch Higher Education for Hotel Management. Mr. Van der Klip currently serves as the President of Eurhodip, a leading association of more than 150 hotel schools from 39 countries.

Arie Van der Spek

As former SVP & CEO for Laureate Hospitality Education Worldwide, responsible for Glion Institute of Higher Education (Glion), Les Roches International School of Hotel Management (Bluche), Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (Sydney), Kendall College (Chicago) and all their branch campuses globally.

Previously COO for InterContinental Hotels Group for Europe and founding member of Swiss Learning.

Currently Executive Director, Board member and Advisor for several Swiss and International companies.

“I’m looking forward to support the HRC Academy in Sofia as a member of the Advisory Board, creating international career opportunities for young people.”

Chef Radi Stambolov

Chef Radi Stambolov is a confectioner and food enthusiast with remarkable energy and unrivalled eagerness to improve culinary education in Bulgaria.

After graduatıng the College of Tourism Varna, he became an instructor of Italian cuisine in Scuola Alberghiera e di Ristorazione di Serramazzoni, Italy and specialized in Cafè Central Palais Ferstel in Vienna, Austria. Chef Stambolov has cooked for 13 Presidents of different countries. Many Bulgarians know him as the outspoken jury member of the Lord of the Chefs TV show. Currently, he manages his own business – the RS chocolatier store.

Chef Joro Ivanov

Chef Joro Ivanov is the president of Euro-Toques Bulgaria since the establishment of the Association and a Vice President of Euro-Toques International.

Chef Ivanov is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, USA and has practised in France, Italy and Germany. He was a Chef at the two-Michelin-star restaurant „La Truffe Noire”, Brussels for seven years. He has experience as a Chef at the Bulgarian Embassy in Rome, Italy, at the Bulgarian Mission to the European Commission in Brussels and at the United Nations in New York, USA. In 2008 he was elected Honorary Chef of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Chef Joro Ivanov is Executive Chef at the five-star hotel “Grand Hotel Sofia.”

Chef Vladi Todorov

Chef Vladimir Todorov is among the best young professional chefs in Bulgaria. He acquired his experience throughout various famous restaurants and gained popularity by participating in various competitions. In 2016, he won the title “Chef of Bulgaria” in the largest culinary competition, organized by the Bulgarian Association of professional cooks. Before this award, he won the title of “Best Student Cook”, which was awarded to him in 2015 in a competition organized by the American Culinary Federation in the USA.
The highly specialized education, the experience gained in the Netherlands, Belgium and the USA, as well as the various awards, allow chef Todorov to become assistant chef instructor in HRC Culinary Academy.

Since May 2018, chef Vladimir Todorov is part of the Bistrello family and by using his unique style he completes the restaurant’s concept of innovation and tasty and interesting food!

Peter Ducker

In his career Peter was a board member of both private and public hotel companies with hotels in the UK, USA, Netherlands and Kenya.  From corporate life he became CEO of the Institute of Hospitality,  the international professional body, with members in every continent and close ties with over 130 hotel schools and universities around the world.

Since retiring he has taken non-executive roles in a number of organisations, has been awarded life fellowship of the Institute he led, honorary fellowship of CHME (The Council for Hospitality Management Education) and has been awarded the Bacchus Alumni Award from the Oxford Brookes School of Hospitality Management for his “major contribution  to Hospitality”.

“Any help and support I can give to help those entering hospitality get the best possible start to their career I gladly give”.

Dr. John Dunning

EdD., PG Cert, BA (Hons), Cert. Ed., HND, DipWSET, FWS, SWS, SFHEA, FHEA, FIH

John currently teaches hospitality management, culinary arts and wines at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU).

Prior to this John worked in hotels and restaurants in various countries. In particular, John worked at Claridge’s and The Savoy in London; five star operations in Monaco/Monte Carlo, Switzerland and France. He has also completed stages in hotels and restaurants in Thailand and America. He has also spent some time in the wine industry in France, Italy, Germany and Australia.

John has been Food and Beverage Manager at Hotel L’Horizon in Jersey, and Training Manager for Gordon Ramsay Group, where he was responsible for training and development across the whole restaurant group (including the 3 Michelin star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay) and consultancy work.

John is particularly interested in wine and restaurant wine service, and he has successfully completed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma in Wines and Spirits (DipWSET); French Wine Scholar Diploma (FWS) and the Spanish Wine Scholar Diploma (SWS).

John has presented on professionalism, food, wine, restaurants and associated subjects in: Estonia; Denmark; France; Malta; Germany; Czech Republic; Bulgaria; Macao; Malaysia.

John’s areas of interest in research and development are: hospitality management; restaurants; food and wine; customer service; professionalism.

Chef Pavel Pavlov

Pastry Chef Pavel Pavlov is a graduate of the HRC Culinary Academy. In 2010, he went to Norway, where he worked in leading restaurants and discovered his passion for pastry. Today, Pavel Pavlov ranks among the world’s most famous pastry chefs, having won numerous awards for his skills.
Chef Pavlov is also the founder of the most exclusive chocolate brand “La Feve by Pavel Pavlov”, which has been awarded by The Academy of Chocolate Awards.

HRC Academy Director

Dear Student,


Building a career in Culinary Arts means being prepared to balance your passion for food and creativity with adaptability, discipline and a strong set of soft skills. To put it simply, it means getting used to burning your hands, but always keeping a cool head. We, at HRC Academy, have dedicated all our efforts to create and maintain an academic environment that brings together talent and business, inventiveness and strategic thinking.


If you’re considering joining the HRC Academy, you’re bound to join a team of distinguished chefs, F & B experts, wine connoisseurs, restaurateurs and mentors who are here to help you grow. They will nurture your talent and enhance your skills. They will teach you the essentials in food preparation, but you’ll also gain considerable management know-how, menu and cost engineering skills. Finally, you will complete a well paid internship in a Europe or US based culinary establishment, an experience which will show you if you’re really cut out to be a chef.


Maybe you’re about to make a life-changing decision and we’d be happy to welcome you on board. We realize how vital it is for you to thrive in the fast-paced hospitality world and we have the academic competence and resources to support you. Thanks to our team of experts and strong network of partners we can guarantee you a work placement in the very first months after graduation. We keep our promises.


I hope to meet you soon,


Yoana Mileva
HRC Academy