This autumn, the world of culinary TV formats in Bulgaria will open doors to a new era in its development. It comes with the eighth season of MasterChef Bulgaria and three members of the jury, who will create a recipe for TV content that must be watched.
Chef Ilian Kustev, Chef Alexander Taralezhkov and the "boss of the bosses" Yavor Sarafov will join the large family of world chefs at MasterChef and will give a new look to the culinary competition. Season 8 of MasterChef Bulgaria will offer viewers "new ingredients", exciting challenges and knowledge-hungry hobby chefs ready to draw inspiration from the best and prove that they are ready for the title "MasterChef of Bulgaria".
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"In recent years, bTV has changed the perception of Bulgarians towards food preparation. I believe that MasterChef has a serious merit for this. We are happy to welcome three new, bright personalities – Ilian, Alexander and Yavor as a jury in the Bulgarian edition of the format. Their multifaceted professional experience is combined with their passion and pure joy of food, and their relentless culinary enthusiasm ensures that a real pleasure awaits us with the new season of "MasterChef". It will not be easy for the participants", commented Angelina Belcheva, Local Production Director at bTV Media Group.
Chef Ilian Kustev
Chef Kustev's career is remarkable and it is no coincidence that he has established himself as one of the biggest names in culinary in Bulgaria and around the world. As a child, he dreamed of becoming a footballer, but curiosity took him to the kitchen. Today he is already preparing for politicians such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prince Charles, Margaret Thatcher and for show business stars such as actor Brad Pitt.
Chef Kustev's professional path is filled with exciting meetings and a lot of work. He received an exclusive cut at the five-star Ritz Hotel in London, where he became part of the team of Chef John Williams. In 2016, life took him to Paris, where he worked in restaurants with three Michelin stars. There he has the opportunity to practice side by side with the unsurpassed Chef Pierre Ganier and Yannick Aleneau, known as the god of sauces in today's modern French cuisine.
For his 26 years of professional experience Chef Coustev has consulted and managed a number of prestigious restaurants and chains in Bulgaria. Currently, he is a culinary consultant and partner in a company whose activity is mainly focused on the trade of dairy products. Chef Kustev is known as a culinary experimenter, his plates are distinguished by refined taste, and they are accompanied by a variety of products.
Chef Alexander Taralezhkov
Alexander Taralezhkov was born in Sofia, but he became a citizen of the world very young. A young adult ended up in London, where he graduated in Product Design at Central Saint Martins. He started working in "Hospitality Design" and later began working as a creative director in the leading edition CODE Hospitality. His professional appearances meet him with many of the most important restaurateurs and chefs in the world.
During this period, Taralejkov traveled around the world, exploring local cultures and cuisines, applying what he learned to his numerous projects. Alexander's acquaintance with Callixta Kilander, who supplies Michelin-starred London restaurants, left a strong imprint on the young artist. Taralezhkov began cooking in her programs, and a few months later settled on the coast of Kent, where he is currently developing his culinary practice. At the beginning of 2021, Alexander created Dolma Bar – a place that features an original restaurant concept and quickly established itself as a favorite of culinary critics and local guests. This provoked the interest of the world private membership club Soho House and a subsequent pop-up restaurant at their London Club in January and February 2022. Currently, Hedgehog shares recipes for publications of the Guardian newspaper and is actively working on his first cookbook, inspired by his culinary philosophy and his characteristic handwriting dictated by Balkan cuisine and beyond. On the agenda in his work is also building a platform for the development of modern culinary culture. It will include a culinary thinking academy that will develop young talents and a workshop focused on developing new restaurant concepts and products.
The name of Yavor Sarafov is a symbol of success, and his life – an analogue of the American dream. Barely a law graduate, Yavor quickly manifested his flair and has been successfully running various businesses for over 30 years. In the barracks, life meets him with Chef Viktor Angelov, and the close friendship grows into a partnership into a restaurant, and subsequently into a chain of fast food. Currently, Sarafov's working life is divided between restaurants, property management and investments. In addition to business, Yavor has a highly developed flair of culinary expert and critic, and culinary trips are his passion. He loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen, where, like everything else, he has enviable skills. She says she loves trying new and different things, from street food to gourmet cuisine, no matter where and when she is. Every touch of authentic cuisine, products, different spices and cultures inspires him as both an amateur and a businessman. Yavor Sarafov has extremely serious experience in the processes taking place in a kitchen or restaurant, about which even chefs often have no idea. Besides being a culinary lover and a successful restaurateur, Yavor is also a passionate wine connoisseur. For him, it is a sea in which he gladly discovers new tastes, varieties and technologies.
MasterChef Bulgaria is an absolute phenomenon in the genre of TV culinary shows. In each episode, the audience follows how hobby chefs transform their lives through a passion for cooking, and the show gives a strong kick-start to their professional development. This autumn, the format returns completely renewed on bTV to excite again the appetite for a tastier life in the company of family and friends, good food and time for the little things that make us happy.