About

Bon Vivant in YellowVladimir Valchev is a Bulgarian immigrant who has been living in a Chicagoland suburb since 2004, and is currently attempting to become a decent enough ESL teacher in order to help spread the hegemony of the English language all over the world. Mostly Japan, though. He considers himself to be a witty and smug individual, who finds solace in writing, while also taking many things to heart, but even more things – less seriously.

unnamed“The Bon Vivant in Yellow”, somewhat sarcastically named after the author’s background and his unquestionable insanity, is an excuse to write about one of the many things he has a passion for. When he is not spending his meager income from his less than stellar job on food and libations, the Bon Vivant enjoys writing, reading and talking about history and linguistics, head-banging to good ole Rock and Roll and all sort of obscure Metal, making the world’s weirdest physiognomies, correcting (and getting annoyed with) people’s Latin pronunciations, playing various tabletop games with his buddies and just exploring as many cultures as possible.. in any way possible. Though he may sometimes lose himself in discussion about etymology, foreign languages and the glorious past of his homeland, the most annoying thing that the author is guilty of doing is talking about himself in the third person, which is why I’m putting an end to this nonsense.

vlad2Overall, I’m a person who likes to follow his passions and obsessions, and good food just happens to be one of them. I enjoy thinking creatively about whatever I do, and always think about the big picture in a dreamy kind of way. I am not a chef, just a hobbyist who learns about the food industry by reading and eating. I love deconstructing other people’s culinary visions and creations, and am a sucker for thematic dishes, which is what you’ll find me reviewing the most. If you are someone who is as enthusiastic about their culinary masterpieces as I am thrilled about experiencing and praising them, then you’ve come to the right place, and I would be delighted to visit your restaurant and support your dreams if they are worth following.. and writing about.

Bands that I listen to: Powerwolf, Manowar, Sabaton, Eluveitie, Corvus Corax, In Extremo, Ghost, Blackmore’s Night, Faun, Rhapsody of Fire, Qntal, Hammerfall, Nightwish,  DIO, Gogol Bordello, Led Zeppelin, Kultur Shock, Die Antwoord, Queen, Rainbow, Deep Purple, KISS, Whitesnake, America, Aerosmith, Boney M., Poe, Gorillaz, Huun-Huur-Tu, Khusugtun, etc.

Why write about food?
While a lot can be said for and against the “foodie” “culture”, my call to action, I think, tends to differ from the drive of other food enthusiasts who try to unearth and discover the BEST and MOST AUTHENTIC eateries on the globe. My call to action stems from all of my other previously mentioned hobbies. I love languages, and I see food as one of the most universal of languages that we have. The fact that food is an inseparable part of any culture has always played an important part of my life. I grew up in Bulgaria, the Balkan southeastern frontier between Europe and Asia, an a region as divided linguistically as possible and surrounded by Serbian, Greek, Macedonian, Turkish and Romanian, as well as Bulgarian. That’s 6 languages… and three distinct alphabets! It’s no surprise that food played such an important role in unifying all of these cultures, with sausages, liquor, salads and pastries always stuck in a tug-o-war contest for their origins, yet always welcome and heartwarmingly familiar anywhere you go.
SO, with food being such an universal language and chefs its poets, I see myself as, well, a translator of food’s discourse and literature. Just like most of us can read without being avid readers OR write without being a writer, a “foodie” may be driven to explore and write about food by the same appreciation and drive that a translator taps into to unlock the meanings of things both said and written. Not everyone would think about analyzing Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays, just like not everyone would think about analyzing… a burger! To some it’s important work, to some it’s a boring and unnecessary endeavor, and that’s fine. Just do what you love and let others do the same.

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