Cook your future.

Our mission is to turn great people into great chefs.

w h o   a r e   w e

Hello, people from all around the world. Welcome to HRC Culinary Academy.

We are located in Sofia, Bulgaria, but we аre present all around the world.

Established in 2008, HRC Academy has trained hundreds of aspiring chefs, from over 40 countries. We are the first school in the European Union accredited by the American Culinary Federation.

Education is entirely in English with a practical approach, applied by world-renowned chefs.

We are proud to offer paid internships at some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the EU, the UAE, and the US, where our students have the chance to obtain knowledge and skills.

Apply now

B e c o m e   a   s u c c e s s f u l   g l o b a l   c h e f

Culinary Arts Degree accredited by the American Culinary Federation

HRC Culinary Academy offers an integrated 2-year associate’s degree program in a modular design, created by top international chefs and top educators with proven academic track records. Our total immersion hands-on instruction quickly transforms students into qualified professionals.

You will develop a command of both classic and contemporary culinary methods and techniques, created by HRC in a unique series of applied practical lab classes. You will get prepared to fit in a professional environment and fully understand the various global cuisines that drive today’s industry.

E d u c a t i o n a l   p r o g r a m

THE CURRICULUM

SEMESTER 1

24 weeks of intense, practical cooking training;
Hospitality, teamwork and communication skills, nutrition and special masterclasses
with local and international guest chefs.

SEMESTER 2

The first internship in Europe is based on the student’s performance and skills during semester 1.
Duration: 22 weeks. Paid.

SEMESTER 3

24 weeks in our training restaurant, Talents, one of the best in Sofia. Advanced cooking classes, events & catering management, molecular cuisine, costing, food styling, leadership, business ethics, wine classes, brand strategy and more.

SEMESTER 4

The second internship in top USA restaurants for 1 year, paid. VISA coverage. ACF diploma upon completion.

Optional:

instead of the USA you can have a 6-month internship in the EU.

T e a c h e r s

Meet our team

HRC instructors have vast international experience and they will guide and support you through the whole educational process. From the traditional french classics to contemporary cuisine – you will learn all the techniques, recipes, and knowledge you will need for a great career start.

L e a r n   f r o m   t h e   b e s t

Chef-instructors

Henri Donneaux

Henri Donneaux

Chef Donneaux (Belgium) comes straight from the industry where he gained a vast amount of experience. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of Namur, Belgium, where he learned the secrets of the classical French cuisine. With over 24 years of professional experience in Belgium, France and the US, Chef Donneaux had the chance to work with some of the most recognized and distinguished names in the culinary industry: World renowned 3 Michelin star Chef Guy Savoy and Chef Thomas Henkelmann. After receiving the practical and theoretical knowledge to lead a fine dining kitchen, Chef Donneaux has held Executive Chef and General Manager positions in upscale establishments, where he was in charge of teams with up to 50 kitchen staff . Besides his background in classical French cooking, he is also very familiar and experienced with the American trends in cuisine.

Viktor Svetoslavov

Viktor Svetoslavov

Chef Viktor started his studies at the HRC Academy after years of professional experience, turning his passion for culinary arts into his career path. He trained at the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin, a luxury hotel with Michelin restaurant in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. Afterwards he spent a year at the Sea Island Resort Golf and Spa in Georgia, USA. His culinary experience also includes positions in Bulgaria and in the Kempinski group in Germany. Chef Viktor is a well-rounded professional with an additional degree in Marketing and Management and has a proven track record in human resources management, and business operation management. Chef’s favorites are Artisan bread making.

Lyuben Koychev

Lyuben Koychev

Chef Lyuben Koychev started his culinary journey at the young age of 14 in his hometown – Gabrovo. After graduating from high school, he joined HRC Culinary Academy and head-started his international culinary career in restaurants around the Netherlands, Belgium, and Croatia. For the past 6 years he was managing the culinary team of MasterChef Bulgaria for 3 years and another 3 years, as Chef Viktor Angelov`s right hand and culinary coordinator of Hell`s Kitchen Bulgaria. He was also a Head Chef of the restaurants Andre by Andre Tokev and Chef`s by Viktor Angelov. He has a passion for exotic spices, flavors, and unique ingredients. Chef Koychev is now an Executive Chef of Talents Restaurant, sharing his knowledge and passion for food with the 3rd semester students of HRC Culinary Academy.

Daniel Nikolov

Daniel Nikolov

HRC alumnus Daniel Nikolov has worked in France and Malta, but most notably - in a luxury hotel chain in the Netherlands and Belgium. Chef Nikolov is now Sous-chef and Head of pastry at Talents restaurant. Since his early teenage years, Daniel Nikolov has worked in restaurants in Sofia, but dreaming big, he decided to explore the culinary world in France and Malta. To become a true professional, he enrolled in HRC Culinary Academy. During his internship in Netherlands and Belgium, Daniel used all his skills and experience to become Executive chef Trung Hoang-Dat’s sous chef at Pillows Boutique hotel chain. Soon, he competed with the most talented European chefs in a tournament organized by 2-Michelin star Chef Ron Blaauw in the Netherlands. Moreover, Daniel’s hard work and contribution helped Pillows Grand Hotel Place Rouppe restaurant get a high Gault Millau score. Today Daniel is a sous chef and head of pastry at Talents restaurant, where he motivates and guides young culinary professionals.

Viktorija Baltutyte

Viktorija Baltutyte

Having graduated our culinary academy (HRC Culinary Academy) she has a vast international experience in the hospitality industry since 2013! Victorija has worked in numerous highly regarded kitchens across the globe! So far her journey has brought her back to Sofia where she develops her professional and personal skills at Nikolas0/360, where she is the sous-chef! Together with her team they hold prizes such as "Best Restaurant" in Bulgaria 2017, Best Signature Cuisine 2017, 2018 and multiple other awards. In 2015 she aces the 1st place for the best Pastry chef in a culinary competition organised by the American Culinary Federation! Victorija is passionate about bold flavors and experimenting in the kitchen! One of her main strives is to promote women being chefs as she believes that in a male-dominated field, female chefs find the best way to get ahead is to support one another!

Nikola Krumov

Nikola Krumov

Chef Nikola Krumov started his professional career in 2008 in his hometown Svishtov. In 2012 he continued his culinary journey in the USA at the Hilton Hotel. He worked in some of the best restaurants in Bulgaria, including as Head chef at the Chef`s Live restaurant by Viktor Angelov. He was part of the culinary team of Hells Kitchen Bulgaria for 3 years. In 2020, inspired by seasonal local products and old Balkan recipes, he launched the PopUpCooking by Nikola format. Chef Krumov is now a Sous-chef of Talents restaurant and shares his knowledge with the 3rd semester students of the Academy.

The Facility

A   u n i q u e   e x p e r i e n c e

Have fun with your classmates and share the best cooking experience ever!

Our place is designed for cooking, learning, and, of course, eating. We have 5 fully equipped kitchens with cooking stations, a demo theatre for theory classes and guest lectures, and a cooking studio for self-service with a bar and coffee machine.

The most exciting part is our campus hotel Kitchen59, where you can find our teaching restaurant “Talents”, the student campus, and one of the best rooftop bars in Sofia with an amazing pool for the hot summer days.

Apply now

E q u i p p e d   f o r   t h e   b e s t

Master chefs are born here

Kitchens

Teaching Restaurant

Demo Theatre

Cooking Studio

Campus-hotel

Rooftop&Pool bar

S u c c e s s   s t o r i e s

Our students share

Mila, 22 Y.O.

Velizar, 20 Y.O.

Stelian, 20 Y.O.

Nikola, 31 Y.O.

Aronas, 21 Y.O.

Kristiana and David

H O W   T O   A P P L Y

We make the application process easy for you, just follow the steps

Step 1

Fill in the application form here:

Apply now
Step 2

We will get in touch with you to give you additional information and answer your questions.

Step 3

You need to book an appointment for an online interview.

  • We would like to have a friendly chat to understand your proficiency in English.
  • We would like to learn more about why you choose to study at HRC Culinary Academy.
  • The Interview fee is EUR 50.

U s e f u l   i n f o r m a t i o n

Good to know

We accept students from age of 18
We need your Diploma for a successfully finished secondary education.
You should have a working knowledge of English. (B1 level is a good start).
Please note

Due to Visa requirements the admission process for Non-EU students might be different. Please find full information here:

NON – EU Students

w h a t   w e   o f f e r

Affordable tuition fees

Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts for Bulgarian Students

Tuition fee
€2200 per semester

Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts for International Students

Tuition fee
€3400 per semester

Additional fees

One-time equipment fee
€500
(includes a professional knife roll, chef’s gear and kitchen shoes)

Non-EU Students*

Enrollment fee
€1300*

*The fee includes:
– assistance for the process, preceding visa application
– secured student status for 2 years without interruption of the program
(possible break between the semesters might incur additional fees).

Life in Sofia

E n j o y   o u r   c i t y

Sofia is a real student city with many universities hosting students from all over the world. Numerous shopping malls with cinemas, cafes, restaurants and supermarkets can be found in every district. With the expansion of the city, the subway network grows as well and now connects all the key locations.

The city is close to various tourist sites making it a good place for students to match their studies with sightseeing and discovery of new places, people and culture.

The ski slopes are minutes away on Vitosha Mountain, also providing great opportunities for hiking and bike rides. Besides the beautiful nature, there are several ancient churches, monasteries and museums that make the surrounding area the perfect place for weekend breaks.

A p p l y   t o d a y

Apply for our Culinary Arts Program

Interested but not willing to go through the full program? Check out our one-semester Full Professional Certificate program.