In those moments, cooking was my safe place, I lived for the weekend and planned what I was going to cook.
Success comes in many forms, and sometimes as the courage to turn the page. Our alumna Vildana Karalić-Avdić has 10 years of success in marketing behind her, but she was ready to make a complete turn in her career and dedicate herself to cooking. We sat down with her and talked about her journey to Kul IN, asked her about her favorite culinary trends and plans for the future. We look forward to seeing what she does next, and until then, let's read the interview!
MARKETING AND WEEKENDS
Kul IN: You spent 10 years in marketing and achieved great success, but you decided to do something new - tell us more about your professional path?
- Yes, I made a complete switch. I finished marketing in Sarajevo, got a master's degree in the Czech Republic and immediately started working in an agency. At the time I quit, I had been working in marketing for 10 years. Before Kul IN, I worked in a global company where I was head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa. It should have been a dream come true, but I just wasn't happy in the corporate world. I thought that success and climbing the corporate ladder would fulfill me, but it didn't and I made a bold decision to quit my job without a plan for what to do next. In those moments, cooking was my safe place, I lived for the weekend and planned what I was going to cook. Last year, I got a cooking course in Sarajevo and realized that I knew very little about cooking, but I also heard about Kul IN during the course. I researched and had a list of pros and cons, but in the end timing prevailed - if not now, when? And here I am!
AT KUL IN
Kul IN: Which lesson was the most interesting?
- Fish, shellfish, octopus were interesting because I haven't worked with seafood much before that.
Kul IN: Any dish from the program that you are really happy with, how did it turn out?
- The tartar steak was good - I made a different dressing, chef Branimir encourages us to add a personal touch to our dishes. The dressing was with honey and mustard, without cucumbers and the spices were different.
Kul IN: 3 characteristics that a good chef should have?
- Organization, constant willingness to learn, courage to take risks.
Kul IN: Tell us about a stressful situation in the kitchen and what did you learn from it?
- Consommé is tricky to prepare because you can do everything right and then half a second of carelessness happens and everything falls apart. Based on that dish, I learned that you need to learn to move on if a dish doesn’t turn out well, and if you are frustrated and nervous, then none of the dishes will turn out well.
Kul IN: What would be your approach or philosophy when it comes to food?
- Try, try, try, I love food and that's the key, whenever I travel, I eat local food and incorporate what I've tried into what I cook in Sarajevo. And the business idea is based on that, a fusion of the local Bosnian cuisine with global elements.
Kul IN: Can you share a few plans for the future?
- I would first like to do an internship, and later start my own business. This is where my marketing experience will come in handy, I hope it's a good combination.
Kul IN: Is there any food or cuisine that particularly inspires you?
- It is not one food item, but vegetables as a category inspire me. I cook a lot without meat, and I like dishes that are rich without meat. I’m interested in sour dough, dough for pizza Napolitana, also Japanese cuisine has piqued my interest ever since we made sushi at Kul IN. I like the essence and foundation to be local, but with international influences.