Attend the best gastronomy schools with Raise the Bar scholarships

2. October 2020.

More than a year ago, Coca-Cola HBC Croatia launched the Raise the Bar project aimed at raising the workforce quality in the hospitality and tourism sectors. It focused its efforts through three project modules: the Raise the Bar Academy for waiters, bartenders and baristas, cooperation with competence centers in tourism and scholarships for young gastronomy talents to train at the world’s top schools. Last year, Raise the Bar awarded in cooperation with the Budi Foodie Foundation scholarships to as many as three finalists for training at prestigious academies.

Tibor Valinčić, Nikolina Putica and Marina Levak are the young hopes of the gastronomy scene who had the opportunity this year to expand their knowledge and learn from top experts. They happily remember the moment when they found out that they had won scholarships. “The first thing that crossed my mind was that there had been some sort of mistake because I was the last to realize that I was a winner. I saw that Tibor was raising his hands in the air, Nikolina started crying and I was looking at the paper and read the word winner in shock. That’s when I actually realized what was happening and that all three of us had won,” remembers Marina. Tibor agrees with her: “The moment the results were announced there was some confusion while we were trying to understand who the real winner was, followed by a wave of happiness and many emotions when we realized that all three of us had won scholarships“.

They already had the opportunity to take advantage of their scholarships. Nikolina Putica was the first of the scholarship holders to attend her training at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Academy in Istanbul. Marina Levak recently returned from patisserie training at the Ecole Nationale superieure de patissierie – Ducasse & Thurie, while Tibor Valinčić started his training at the Intrecci Alta Formazione Academy in Italy. Visitors of the Taste the Mediterranean Festival, a one-of-a-kind international festival of Mediterranean food, gastronomy, products, wine and cultural heritage to take place October 7-11 in Split, will have the chance to learn firsthand about the experiences of the young scholarship holder Nikolina.

Raise the Bar intends to continue its scholarship program this year and has established its own foundation to provide scholarships for the development of young talents at the world’s best schools.

„Through our work we strive to contribute to the success of our customers, while positively impacting and supporting the environment in which we operate. A couple of years ago we noticed that the lack of a well-trained workforce is a major threat to the further development of the tourism and hospitality sectors. Through the Raise the Bar project and its components we strive to make a comprehensive contribution to solving this issue. Through the scholarship program and the establishment of our own foundation we facilitate the additional quality training of talents in gastronomy and the further development of that scene. We are very happy to hear about the highly positive impressions of our scholarship holders, for whom this was a truly invaluable professional and life-time experience,” said Filip Verbanac, Raise the Bar project manager and Premium Spirits, Coffee and Horeca Manager at Coca-Cola HBC for Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia.

Applications for Raise the Bar scholarships will officially open on October 5, the day of the HoReCa Conference to be organized by Coca-Cola HBC Croatia for the fourth consecutive year. The conference was renamed this year and is now called Raise the Bar Conference, which further emphasizes and affirms the significance of this comprehensive socially responsible project.

All information about the project and its components can be found on the website and the FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn pages.