Dieci Boutique Restaurant is going from strength to strength. The lovely 10 guests venue in the village of Devino is fully booked till the end of the year. The talented couple behind this venture has not given up on the idea to bring Bulgaria its first Michelin-star restaurant. Gianfranco has plans to bring along fellow Bulgarian chefs, and together present a wider range of top-class restaurants. The slogan “we are stronger united” is not just an empty word for the celebrity chef.
Here we got in touch with Gianfranco to find out more about his New Year’s resolution.
Yordan: Gianfranco, it is a real pleasure talking to you.
Tell us how the restaurant business is doing in Devino
Dear Yordan, thank you for the invitation and opportunity to talk with your audience. In regards to your question; we had small concerns that the war in Ukraine will rain on our parade of reservations and guests that keep coming and looking for the class, quality cuisine, and experience we deliver. But to our surprise, our reservations have not stopped and our faithful guests and new potential guests have kept knocking on Dieci’s door.
Business is good and healthy and we keep looking forward to bringing more and more interesting events and experiences to our exclusive guests.
What are the biggest challenges you are facing at the moment?
Well, not to be too optimistic, but knocking on wood, thus far we have no challenges, suppliers, partners, and guests alike are true to our cause and faithful to our business model. Maybe the weather and the increase in energy prices, if I must add something. The summer lasted longer than expected and this has brought a bit of disarray to our green garden. Finally, the cold is here and we have prepared logistically and financially for the hurdles of energy prices by 2023 we forecast to become 99% sustainable and off the grid in what energy refers to.
Would you do anything differently if you have to start all over again?
Maybe I would have prepped to be sustainable 100% before opening, but we need to live and learn. Nonetheless, the path we have chosen keeps us healthy financially. It is important not to be arrogant and over-optimistic about profits as this may come to a slow or in some cases an end. But if you forecast accordingly, the business remains healthy. We are not in the business of becoming rich. We are in the business to deliver outstanding food and experience while remaining financially healthy and with logical profits.
Leisure time is probably not something you come by very often. What do you enjoy doing the most during those precious moments?
Leisure time is something we have every single day at Dieci. We love what we do and therefore we do not see it as work. We are highly creative and our Food Lab needs constant development and our menus constant fantasy and passion. Therefore we wake up every morning motivated and ready to be active, mentally and physically. Vacation time is just a time for us to visit guests that have become friends and to reconnect with other people. We keep on reinventing activities and creating new adventures for ourselves that are translated into new experiences for our guests. Therefore I believe we live on an endless vacation in Dieci 🙂
And now back to “the elephant in the dining room”. How do we get a Michelin-star restaurant in Bulgaria?
Well…, this is a subject for the ages as we say. Our commitment to Bulgaria, its cuisine, and the new revolution of Bulgarian cuisine is the primary objective. How do we put Bulgaria on the global culinary map? That has several answers and roads, one of them obviously being the Michelin stars. But our primary objective first and foremost is to deliver world-class cuisine and service and a holistic and unforgettable experience. Then if the Michelin star comes knocking on our door, God bless.
How to get it to the door? Requires work, work, work. Not in regards to media or in regards to other irrelevant online stuff, but in regards to food and wine, real table quality experience. Consistency is a major issue in most places and definitely to stay true to your core values. We advertise sustainability, farm-to-table, green deal, and almost zero carbon footprint and we deliver this in several areas we are committed to becoming more aggressive in this manner since the Michelin guide also awards restaurants like ours with the precious Green Michelin star, which in time will become more valuable than the Red Michelin star due to the current global and climate situation.
There are also 50 Best Restaurants of the World by Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino; another important critical tool and platform that is worthy of fighting for. But unfortunately, the Michelin guide will not come for just one restaurant. We need more healthy competition and more restaurants to make the visit from the Michelin guide worthy and financially sound.
Tell us more about your plan to team up with Bulgarian Chefs
We are in the early stages of conversations with some Bulgarian Chefs, and they have shown honest and positive interest in doing things together.
As we speak we are planning a series of four hands dinners in Dieci to showcase the best of the best from Bulgaria and offer our lucky guests in those events creativity, quality, unique use of Bulgarian products and raw materials, and a truly healthy atmosphere of team building among we all local chefs to get to know each other and to bring the best of all of us to the table. There will be more Bulgarian chefs at these events, but we are still in the early stages of communication. We’ll keep everyone informed when the time is right.
Moreover, our plan as a result of these friendly encounters is to create a unified front of chefs and restaurants that can set the bar in regards to quality and experience and demonstrate globally and to the Michelin guide and other guides that we have not only the quality but also the number of restaurants to make this visit worthy.
Where can people find out more about the restaurants involved?
We will start publishing these events and other relevant events with Michelin-starred guest chefs for 2023 as and when the events are more solid in regard to dates. But relevant sources will be, for example, your blog “Move2Bulgaria”, our Facebook page, and our Instagram page.
Please share your favorite dish or dishes with our followers
The Four Seasons of Elena Kashkaval • Guinea Fowl Ballotine • Smoked Kashkaval • Elenski But Prosciutto • Apricot Barbecue Duck Breast • Lavender Potato Puree • Elderberry Sauce • Saffron Crème Pâtissière & Chocolate Garash Cake • Kiselo Mlyako & Rose Ice Cream • Foie Gras: (Yambol Province) • Jujube Pulp • Crispy Smoked Bacon • Edible Gold • Kazanlak Roses Sweet Baked Banitsa & Ricotta Parfait • Artisan Chocolate Bozá Velouté • Artisan Truffled Lukanka • Basil Potato Purée • Rosehip Mayonnaise
We at Move2Bulgaria believe good food should be enjoyed in good company
And your company, Gianfranco, has certainly been very enjoyable. Thank you for promoting Bulgaria away from home. Ciao and see you in 2023.