IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassador_Boštjan Volk_Slovenia

Boštjan Volk

IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassador from
Slovenia, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2021

“Through the European Young Chef Award, I aimed to gain new knowledge, experience, and friendships across Europe. Besides that, I intended to showcase my region and emphasise the significance of bees, which are vital for life on earth. My dish was first and foremost my tribute to the bees and beekeepers.”

Boštjan Volk is the finalist who represented Slovenia, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2021 at the European Young Chef Award 2023 and won 1st Prize.

Boštjan is 25 years old and comes from a small village called Plešivec in Slovenia. His first experience in the kitchen was at a young age in his family restaurant that serves home-cooked cuisine. His desire to cook became even stronger when he enrolled in Velenje High School for Service Activities. After that, he continued his studies at the Higher School of Catering and Tourism in Maribor, where he graduated.

His passion for cooking grows day by day, as for Boštjan it is one of the most beautiful professions: “Of course, there are difficult times,” he claims, “but at the end of the day, when you see happy guests coming back, you feel that all the effort is worth it.”

Boštjan is not new to competitions and his good results earned him a call-up to the Slovenian National Chefs Team: “Becoming a member of this team is every chef’s dream and aspiration. They have given me new knowledge and broadened my circle of friends. In the future, I aim to become a judge and mentor for chefs who are eager to learn new skills.”

His current greatest achievements in cooking competitions include: silver medal at the Villeroy & Bosch World Culinary Championships 2022 in Luxembourg, with the Slovenian National Chefs Team; 1st place in the Slovenian selection for the European Young Chef Award 2023; Biser Mora (Croatia) where he competed every year from 2018 until 2023 and received 5 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 4 bronze medals; Biser Konjica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) where he received 3 gold medals in 2022.

Currently, Boštjan is working at multiple positions, including the media company (Pro Plus) that runs the MasterChef cooking show and provides culinary tips, and Jezeršek, a leading catering company in Slovenia. Moreover, he is in the process of slowly building his own catering business.

At the European Young Chef Award 2023, Boštjan presented the dish Honey Hug an innovative interpretation of the traditional recipe Medenjak (Gingerbread) with walnut kernels and honey milk. He got the inspiration for his dish from a hill nearby his home, where the highest beehive in Slovenia is located, at an altitude of 1699 meters above sea level. He always tries to develop his dishes in a precise way and with local ingredients. That is why he spent almost half a year to put his innovative recipe together, taking the time to find top-quality local suppliers and products.

“I believe that this dish is highly sustainable and healthy, and the bees play a significant role in it,” says Boštjan. “We know that one bee produces one teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime, so we should value them even more. On top of that, the absence of bees would make life on earth impossible.”

“This dish is first and foremost my tribute to the bees and beekeepers who make life run smoothly in terms of pollination and contribute to good, bountiful harvests in the fields of arable farming, fruit growing, floriculture, etc. The dish is simple and complex at the same time, and it may surprise with its interesting flavours.”