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Buongiorno A small Italian restaurant owned and run by a skilled chef from the Sicilian capital Palermo


Slaveykov Sq, Varna, Bulgaria
+359 52 602 483
9:00 - 22:00
  • Kind: Restaurant
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: Buongiorno, italian restaurant, Varna

In the old city quarter right next to Varna’s railway station and marine port is a small Italian restaurant owned and run by a skilled chef from the Sicilian capital Palermo, and his Bulgarian wife. Locals and tourists alike quickly discover the homely feel of this place dedicated to one of the world’s favourite cuisines. In the midst of a hurried working day or while sightseeing in this historically rich area, anyone will gladly enjoy a good Italian meal and a cup of coffee.

(scroll down for the interview)


Buongiorno has served its clients for seven years two of which in the ownership and culinary style of Chef Carlo Guadalupo, his almost religious dedication to delicious Italian food and German precision in running the restaurant. Born and bred in the occupational tradition of the Guadalupo family of bakers, chefs and restaurant managers, Carlo easily puts to practice his significant gastronomic knowledge in this new city and culture. Before moving to Bulgaria, Carlo spends many years in Germany working at different culinary establishments including the first Italian pizzeria which opened in Munich back in the 60s. It is there that he meets his future wife Silvia, a Bulgarian who has similarly fled her home country to find better working opportunities and perhaps a new home. Two years ago their story takes a new turn when the two migrants decide to move together to Bulgaria and start a real Italian family restaurant.

Like many skilled professionals, Carlo believes he is yet to discover the big secrets of truly great food. And with his 35 years of culinary experience, he knows what he is talking about. At the very beginning of his career, he learns by ‘stealing’ skills and knowledge.

‘When I first started working at restaurants in Germany, I never asked the chef to explain. I watched and practised and learned.’

Today, although he insists he is still learning, he also has a lot to teach his youngest colleagues. Carlo is one of those people who believe cooking should be done with heart. That being said, he quickly clarifies that gastronomy has no real chance without discipline. Our Sicilian chef is extremely pedantic and has his staff perfectly mannered and neatly dressed, wearing nothing that would distract the attention of the client from the splendid dish and service. Personal hygiene is of the utmost importance: never choose perfume over shower. However, there are other things to consider in a different cultural environment.

‘In this country everything is “mnogo poleka”.’

In Bulgarian, this means very slowly and without pushing yourself. On the one hand, he enjoys this speed as it helps him leave behind the stress experienced at work back in Germany. This is exactly why he chose Varna with its comfort similar to home and the opportunity to relax and cook at his small family restaurant with proper care for each dish and client. On the other hand, this easy attitude should not compromise with punctuality or quality. Running a restaurant depends heavily on having the right products at the right time and he would not hesitate to let a supplier go if they cannot deliver on these points.

Everything is important in a restaurant: the food, its presentation and the overall setting and mood that you create as your guests taste the dish in front of them. All is key to the client’s relationship of respect and appreciation for the food and drink, which a good restaurateur will work to encourage.

‘Try drinking an espresso when you are not wearing perfume. The taste is totally different, rich and authentic.’

So, which are these chef’s most passionate culinary relationships? First among dishes is his beloved Pasta alla Norma, a traditional Sicilian pasta recipe with eggplant, tomato sauce and ricotta salata cheese. Another favourite is the Saltimbocca alla Romana – veal with prosciutto crudo and salvia in white wine sauce. Not a passionate drinker, Carlo still enjoys a good Prosecco, the famous Italian white wine named after the grape variety and its place of origin, the village of Prosecco near Trieste. A true Sicilian, he holds in high regard the island’s pride – the Nero d’Avola red wine named after the area around the town of Avola in Southeast Sicily where the ‘black grape’ was once selected.

Carlo and Silvia’s favourite from German cuisine is a simple dish they remain faithful to and continue to prepare at home – Nuremberg sausages with potatoes. Carlo’s Bulgarian choice at this point is the kapama, a traditional winter dish with several types of meat including veal, pork and poultry, sauerkraut or mushrooms and other vegetables cooked in a crock. However, it is banitsa – the traditional Bulgarian baked by his mother-in-law – that got his attention first. He quickly discovers the recipe’s secret – fresh eggs from chickens raised on real food in a small village backyard.

Carlo is convinced these are the types of products necessary for a genuinely tasty meal and he has since been exploring the city to find them.

Such food is essential to happiness and strength. Hence, respect for food is a rule in this restaurant where each day staff sit down together to share the lunch cooked by the chef before they resume work and serve others. Carlo Guadalupo prepares each dish and welcomes each client with this understanding of life and his contribution to the client’s happiness.

Interview: Amorpha Youth Group
Photos: Alexander Lazarov for Amorpha Youth Group
Translation from Bulgarian: Amorpha Youth Group
Illustration: Mila Lozanova for Compote Collective
30 November 2015