Resident HRC chef instructors and lecturers

Teachers & Lecturers

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!

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.

Yovelina Minkova

Yovelina Minkova

Chef Yovelina serves as an Assistant Chef Instructor to Semester 1 students at HRC, where she imparts her knowledge and culinary artistry to the next generation of aspiring chefs. She has cultivated a diverse culinary journey shaped by her experiences in international settings and interactions with people from various cultures. Her passion for creating exceptional […]

Dimitar Nikolov

Dimitar Nikolov

Instructor / Sommelier Dimitar Nikolov has 15 years’ experience in the wine industry as a sommelier, wine buyer, wine judge, wine writer and educator. Starting his career as a sommelier for a major hotel chain and at a restaurant in Chicago, Nikolov then returned to his native Bulgaria to work for Metro Cash & Carry, firstly as the wine buyer for Bulgaria, and then was promoted to category manager for Metro Cash & Carry’s entire Russian Federation operations, which saw him move to Russia. After five years with the company, Nikolov was appointed to a top management position at a wine importer specializing in Hungarian wines. Upon returning to Bulgaria, he created apollowine.com, online wine shop where he offers a selection of boutique wines from Bulgaria. He holds qualifications from the ISG Chicago, the WSET advanced certificate, and is currently studying for the WSET diploma. He is the co-founder of Wine and Spirits Academy Bulgaria (WSAB) located in Sofia, Bulgaria where he is teaching WSET courses. He is the only Bulgarian judge, evaluating wines for nine consecutive years at the biggest and most professional wine competition in the world Decanter World Wine Awards.

Goran Yordanov

Goran Yordanov

Goran is currently a head of sales and marketing of Swiss Group. His professional experience spans in 9 years of the education sales in Eastern Europe and a strong hospitality background with various positions in Food&Beverage across 6 countries and different 5 star brands. Currently holding a MSc degree in Hospitality management with completed research on Emotional Intelligence followed by guest lecturing experience on the topic across Europe. Goran is teaching Introduction to Hospitality modules.

Guest Lecturers

Guest Lecturers

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.

Dr. John Dunning

Dr. John Dunning

Ex-Food & Beverage Trainer, Gordon Ramsay Group; Principal Hospitality Lecturer at Sheffield-Hallam University, United Kingdom

Bjorn Massop

Bjorn Massop

Executive Chef Villa Ruimzicht, The Netherlands

Akio Saito

Akio Saito

Akio Saito, Sushi master, Tokyo, Japan

Pierre Hermé

Pierre Hermé

Iconic Pastry Chef, voted best pastry chef in the world, France.

Hamish Brown

Hamish Brown

Group Executive Chef for Roka restaurants, London, UK

Pavel Pavlov

Pavel Pavlov

Celebrity Chef, HRC Alumni, Gastronomic Institute Stavanger, Norway

Elisa Volanti

Elisa Volanti

Gelato Chef, Iceteam 1927, Italy

Louis Spost

Louis Spost

Executive Chef, Hilton Atlanta & Towers, Atlanta, USA

Justin Everett

Justin Everett

Executive Chef. Cavallo Point Lodge, Sausalito, CA, USA

Julien Philippe

Julien Philippe

Group Pastry Chef for Zuma restaurants, London, UK

Felix Hafner

Felix Hafner

Executive Chef, Schloss Reinhartshausen Kempinski, Eltville, Germany

Barbara Castiglione

Barbara Castiglione

Sugar Artist & Confectioner, Savona, Italy

Audrey Eussen

Audrey Eussen

Executive Chef Restaurant Harry`s, Maastricht , Netherlands

Ivan Alexandrov

Ivan Alexandrov

Boutique Cookie's Cakes, London UK

Anna Petkova

Anna Petkova

Anna‘s connection and love for flavours has been for life – of coffee, chocolate, wine, and olive oil for the last 5 years. She is a marketing and business executive professional with 23-year experience at food multinationals, having worked in Bulgaria, Russia and the Adriatic region. Anna’s passion is artisan, seasonal and local food, along with biodiversity, sustainability and “Nature on a plate”. She is ambassador of MedDiet & Intuitive food. Anna is a certified olive oil sommelier by the renowned program of the International Culinary Center & Olive Oil Times Education lab in NYC (organizers of the most significant international Olive Oil competition NYOOIC) and is leading her educational platform My Pure Olive dedicated to growing the extra virgin olive oil & food culture in Bulgaria. Anna holds a WSET Level 2 certificate in wine & spirits

Petko Kostadinov

Petko Kostadinov

Pastry Chef Petko Kostadinov is a second-generation pastry chef with a strong drive to bring modern and innovative approaches to his work, aligning with the latest industry trends. Currently, he serves as a demonstrator and consultant, working with professionals in the pastry, restaurant, and catering sectors. His role involves conducting comprehensive training sessions and captivating […]