Mariya Jekova studied photography at New Bulgarian University before moving to Norway in 2016 to study at the Bilder Nordic School of Photography. After her studies, she returned to Sofia and specialised in food photography and styling. As she cooked and photographed her food, she gradually developed a deeper interest in cooking and ingredients.
In 2020, when the pandemic curtailed many everyday activities, she dived deeper into culinary knowledge and was finally able to follow her biggest dream. In 2021, after a year of developing sustainable practices and knowledge of local and seasonal cooking, she participated in MasterChef Bulgaria and won. She was then one of the five chefs who cooked for the ceremony of Bacchus Bulgaria — the biggest culinary celebration on the Balkan Peninsula with more than 300 guests from the culinary world.
Most recently, she has started to develop a restaurant in the Rhodope Mountains in the Bulgarian countryside that will focus on local and sustainable ingredients.