Chef Petrov’s Secrets: Meet Forgotton Bulgaria & Fine Dining With Kids

Kids and fine dining? Yes, definitely and if you have (vegan) children with a refined palate, they’ll love Secrets by Chef Petrov in Sofia Bulgaria. If you’re looking for something truly unique to do (with children) in Sofia, you need to add this to the top of your list because it is a spectacular experience for all ages.

Please note all photos taken with a phone & a drunken hand.

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Dry ice dish

 What Is Secrets at Chef Petrov?

Secrets at Chef Petrov is a shared dining experience where you’re able to try forgotten Bulgarian cuisine with an elegant twist of modernity and theatrical magic.

It’s a wonderful experience and no surprises that these gourmet Chefs have worked all over the world and with culinary geniuses such as Heston Blumenthal.

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The first course in the shape of Bulgaria. Three dips with local produce

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A modern take on Shopska Salad

What’s Happens There?

As we were the only vegans eating that night and there were seven of us, we had the entire restaurant to ourselves! Usually there’s space for roughly fourteen people and you eat in a rectangular, horse-shoe shape with the chefs in the middle presenting and dishing the food.

It’s a unique and intimate setup with the overall atmosphere being of joy and sharing a wonderful & educational encounter. The food is a modern take on classic, often forgotten dishes, served in a contemporary manner with small but plentiful portions.

All five of your senses will be tickled in glory as you watch in fascination as dishes are transformed from stunning to astounding. An absolutely wonderous occasion to dazzle yourself, friends and family with haute-cuisine in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia.

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Pouring dry ice

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Dry ice on food

How Many Courses Did You Have?

Twenty-three courses! Can you imagine the time and effort that went into planning and concocting such an amount of food? I was astonished at the quality and the depth of detail that went into each course.

If you’re a true foodie with an appreciation of fine dining, then you’ll love Chef Petrovs. He even had time to play a game with us. In the photos below we were served a selection box and had to ‘hunt the right one’. A lot of fun if you take it in turns between the kids.

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Hide & Seek Course

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But which one is actually the food?

How Long Should You Allow?

You should allow at least three hours to get through all of the courses! Chef Petrov introduces each dish and explains its origins, sometimes where the food was sourced or how it was grown and cooked.

It is an educational experience as well as a sumptuous feast and you must be open-minded enough to try new dishes and ingredients.

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A vegan fish dish made with pasta

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Vegan fish dish made with pasta

How Much Does It Cost?

The menu is a flat rate of 109.90 BGN (although our kids were charged three-quarters of this price). You also have a choice of wine pairings and mocktails. We opted for seven wine pairings and I was very merry by the end of the evening.

If you’re not a big drinker, I’d opt for four.

  • 7 unique wine pairings:  79.90 BGN
  • 4 unique wine pairings:  59.90 BGN
  • Mocktail pairings:  39.90 BGN

Let Me Show You Some More Photos

These three photos are from one course and a classic example of how Chef Petrov’s team creates dishes while allowing you to watch. I feel that it builds the suspension and you should have heard all the ‘OOHHs’ coming from our party of seven.

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Chef petrov's fine dining Secrets

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Served dish

My Favourite Course?

It’s immensely difficult to pick a favourite course, I mean where would I start? It would be easier for me to tell you my least favourite which was the re-invention of Shopska Salad.

If I had to pick an ultimate favourite that I’d eat again, it would be the orange desert. Why? Because it tickled all five senses and as he….. Well that would be telling and I feel like I should leave some of the experience as a surprise. However, let me tell you that you would not be disappointed!

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A moving image of my favourite desert

Rich’s favourite Course

Richard’s favourite dish was the faux BBQ pork made with seitan and served with caramelised apple that was cooked as we watched. If you haven’t got a blow torch or dry ice in your kitchen, you’ll definitely leave here thinking it’s a good idea. Thank goodness we travel so much otherwise our kitchen would be full of gadgets and I’d never get anything done.

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Cooking apple with a blow torch

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Caramelised apple at Chef Petrov's

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Faux BBQ pork with caramelised apple

Our Kids’ Favourite Courses?

Would it surprise you, if I said that their three favourite courses were all deserts? Nope! I should expect not. They were thoroughly indulged with sweet treats here. In fact, not only were they spoiled rotten with food but Chef Petrov and his team really welcomed them and included them in the meal, the explanations and allowed them to ask questions. I really love it when our kids are made to feel valued because it enhances their learning experience.

Sometimes when you take kids to places, you get a frosty response and you’re made to feel awkward but definitely not here. They felt included and had a tremendous time.

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Making ice-cream

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Pear & Ice-cream

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Popcorn & Rose

Was It Worth It?

Chef Petrov’s was without doubt an exceptional experience that we’re unlikely to have the opportunity to do again.

I can wholeheartedly tell you that if this experience was in London, you’d pay three times the price for it and it would be out of reach for many families.

We purchased this for seven of us as a Christmas present and we were enthralled by the process, educated by the explanations, charmed by the approach, overwhelmed with the quality of food and if you think this is a little over the top, it probably has something to do with the seven glasses of fine wine I consumed.

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Chocolate shoe

9 Reasons Why You Should Take Kids To Chef Petrovs?

  1. Introduce them to fine food in a welcoming environment.
  2. Encourage them to appreciate good food and have gratitude for how fortunate we are.
  3. Practice sitting still & concentrating but with frequent gratification.
  4. Enhance their education of food, dishes and culture.
  5. Inspire them to try new foods, flavours, textures.
  6. Strengthen their listening skills and knowledge of how to ask appropriate questions.
  7. They can’t learn appropriate behaviour if they’re not given the opportunity.
  8. Re-confirm notions of hard work, visions to succeed and achieve.
  9. All the chefs were world-schooled and learned their trades globally.

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Chef Petrov's Secrets. Vegan fine dining in Sofia, Bulgaria

Other Things You Could Do In Bulgaria

If you’re thinking of coming to Bulgaria, we have loads of posts on what to do and where to visit. We’re also adding more monthly as we bought a house there!

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