My name is Chavdar Todorov.

My culinary journey spans over 17 years. Originally from Bulgaria, I’ve called the UK home for over 15 years. When I purchased my first cookbook at 7, it ignited my passion for cooking.

Although I studied business administration at university, I never completed my degree. I have worked in various establishments across the UK, including many Michelin-star restaurants and corporate catering, in Scotland and then in London for the last 10-12 years.

My first job in the kitchen coincided with another job as a waiter. I juggled kitchen work from 8 am to 1 pm, followed by an hour commute, and then working until 2 am.

In 2016, I ventured into independent work, focusing on pop-ups and collaborations. During this time, I organized immersive dining shows and corporate events. However, everything stopped with the onset of the pandemic.

At the end of 2020, I called my friend Han, the owner of the building, and we came up with the idea of @slowburnlondon . Initially, the concept was rooted in offering easily deliverable and takeaway smoked meats. However, we redirected our attention towards a vegetable-centric menu. With the growing importance of consuming less meat, our meals are often 50% vegan. Our all-inclusive approach ensures that everyone can dine together whether you prefer meat!

I’m not a fan of veganizing products; we stick to whole vegetables without substitutions and eat everything in moderation. We source our ingredients from three suppliers: vegetables, general stuff, and one for UK farmers.

Considering Slow Burn has gained momentum, our primary goal is to continue building the kitchen team. Slow Burn is here to stay, and expansion is possible, especially within London.

For those starting in the kitchen industry, be prepared to work hard and make compromises. You have to be dedicated and be ready for the unsociable hours. Recognizing the importance of stepping back, taking time for oneself, and prioritizing personal well-being is essential. The industry is evolving, but people are burning out. Put yourself first because if you don’t, no one else will.

Interview and 📸 by Official HOTK reporter in Europe @delphine.cookk