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Gourmet Festival: from dumplings to the best of international gastronomy

Mark your calendars for Pentecost weekend! Once again this year, gastronomy lovers must visit Millenaris Park to attend the OTP Gourmet Festival, between May 17-20, exhibiting the county’s best restaurants, confectionaries and wineries. The festival also introduces current delicacies and the best of international gastronomy.

  • The main themes of this year’s include dumplings, caviar and sparkling wine; 
  • Regarded as the #10 best restaurant, the 2 Michelin star Steirereck’s award-winning Executive Chef, Heinz Reitbauser will be the main international figure of the festival;
  • Chefs from all of Poland’s Bib Gourmand restaurants; Kamilla Seidler, best female Chef from South America; Maksut Askar, Chef at Istanbul’s Neolokal, will all appear on stage, as well as host exclusive dinners;
  • There are a limited number of spaces for the exclusive lunches and dinners. In addition to those mentioned above, 5 countryside and 5 Budapest restaurants will also be preparing special menus;
  • Workshops will be held by Ádám Pataki, Confectioner; Ákos Sárközi, Chef of the Michelin Star restaurant Borkonyha; László Jahni, Chef of Kistücsök, along with Zé Fördős, Piros Vágó, and Zsolt Anger
  • There will also be exciting shows on stage: Zazzi will reveal the famous  Édes álom (Sweet dream) recipe, Reitbauer will prepare mushrooms in a variety of ways, audience members can also get to know the flavors that Csallóköz works with, find out how caviar is made from Szása Nyíri. The 2 Michelin star Onyx and the 160 year old Gerbaud will also offer special programs. Ádám Pohner will be here ahead of his June championship where he will be representing Hungary at the Bocuse d’Or international chef championship; 
  • This year we will handout the Gourmet award, once again, based on the decision of audience members and the professional panel’s favorite dish;
  • We didn’t forget about kids either, festival entry is free for anyone under 14, there will be activities for kids, courtesy of Kerek Perec and Chefparade.

International Stars at Millenaris

“This year’s “headliner,” Heinz Reitbauer, is the Owner and Head Chef of the Austrian restaurant, Steirereck,” says Richárd Nemes, the Main Organizer of Gourmet. “With 2 Michelin-stars and 19/20 Gault Millau points, Steirereck is ranked the #10 best restaurant world, and Reitbauer was chosen as last year’s Chef of the century by the Austrian Gault Millau. He is currently the best Austrian chef” says Nemes. He also added that 4 Polish Bib Gourmand restaurants will be arriving to Budapest.

“We can also tell you that not only will we be hosting famous chefs from neighboring countries, but also from all over the world, including Kamilla Seidler, Latin America’s best female chef. She is also Co-Owner with Claus Meyer, of Gustu in La Paz, where she was executive chef until recently. She is currently working on opening a new restaurant” stated Nemes. We also found out from Nemes that Maksut Askar, Executive Chef of Neolokal, Istanbul’s best restaurant, will be visiting Budapest. ‘The Diners Club World’s 50 best restaurants’ discovered him last year. He has reinvented Anatolian cuisine by re-discovering resources, supplies and incorporating them in modern, contemporary dishes. Both Seidler and Askar will appear on stage, as well as host exclusive dinners.

Exclusive lunches and dinners

Since last year, exclusive lunches and dinners, held by the best Hungarian restaurants and guest chefs was a major hit, therefore the organisers will be hosting them once again. It is important to register ahead of time. Warsaw’s four Bib Gourmand restaurants will be hosting a dinner for guests. Exceptionally good food at moderate prices - this is the definition used for the Bib Gourmand category in the Michelin Guide. Four restaurants were awarded this rating in Poland: Alewino, Brasserie Warszawska, Butchery & Wine, and Kieliszki na Próznej. A special feature of this event is that it will be the first time these chefs get together to co-host an eight-course dinner. A selection of Hungarian wines, recommended by the chefs and sommeliers will accompany the dishes.

Last year, the countryside lunch series kicked off with a full house and enormous success, introducing the most exciting countryside restaurants. This year, to save you time and money, they invited some new names, including the pilgrim destination ‘Anyukam mondta,’ restaurant from Encs; Platán restaurant located in Tata, managed by the highly respected, Pesti István; the Erhardt restaurant from Sopron; Macok from Eger, and Viator from Pannonhalma. These restaurants’ chefs will host a once in a lifetime and unforgettable gastronomic experience. Dishes will be accompanied by excellent Hungarian wines hand picked by the chefs.

It is a special and rare occasion to get to know the top gastronomy of another continent, especially coming from an exotic part of the world, such as South America. Kamilla Seidler left behind the two-star Mugaritz restaurant, to join Noma that has won the world’s best restaurant award several times. As Co-Owner with Claus Meyer, they opened Gustu in Bolivia’s capital, La Paz, where they translated Noma's philosophy - using local and seasonal ingredients to create authentic but modern cuisine. Within years, Gustu, has become known as one of the best restaurants in South America. Both the restaurant and Seidler have received numerous awards, with the highest achievement being “Best Female Chef in Latin America” (The World’s 50 best Restaurants). Last year, Seidler stepped down as executive chef of Gustu and started on a world-wide journey to popularize Bolivian and South American Cuisine. András Kató, an international wine academic, chose local wines to accentuate the five-course menu, using the chef’s guidelines. 

“Our mission is to offer the best of everything, and since each year there are some great restaurants that are unable to attend the event for one reason or another, we work hard to include them too somehow,” says Richárd Nemes, the main organizer of OTP Gourmet Festival. “We’ve asked the best chefs in the capital from Baraka, Csalogány 26, Mák, Rosenstein and St. Andrea Wine & Gourmet Bar, to come the festival for a day and jointly prepare a five-course Sunday lunch for our guests. A special feature of the lunch is that instead of wines, vegetable and fruit juices will be served with every dish. They will be prepared by the chefs, making sure that the juices complement the meals. 

Turkey, just like Hungary, is undergoing huge gastronomical changes. Re-discovering their resources, supplies and incorporating them in modern, contemporary dishes. Maksur Askar, Executive Chef of Neolokal, Istanbul, is considered as the leading modern pioneer of Anatolian cuisine. With his beautiful plates and uncompromising professional attitude, he has brought international attention to Neolokal. Neolokal was listed as one of the regional discoveries on the ‘Diner’s Club The World’s 50 Best Restaurants' list. The menu specializes in central Anatolian cuisine, accompanied by authentic Turkish wines.

Gourmet workshop by ELectrolux

After tasting dishes prepared by some of the most well-known chefs, you may want to try recreating them at home. To help you do this, there will be Gourmet workshops. On Friday, for example, László Jahni, Kistücsök’s star chef with the help of Ferenc Fodor, Director of Fish Production at Balaton Fish Management Non-Profit Ltd., will allow participants to become more familiar with Balaton’s sudar carp. Together they will prepare a classy dish (fish dumplings with fish sauce), as well as practice cleaning and filleting fish. The popular radio host and experimental chef, Piros Vágó, will prepare one of his favorites that centers around sweet potatoes, almonds, and cinnamon. 

On Saturday, Pastry Chef, Ádám Pataki and his daughter will be holding a family workshop on grissini and raspberry tiramisu. Hungarian actor Zsolt Anger will also come on stage. He is followed by Ákos Sárközi (Borkonyha) and Nespresso’s coffee ambassador, Balázs Márkosi. Guests can get to know different coffee aroma families through tasting games, and discover exciting textures through paired dishes. The popular chef is also preparing with a creative task, during which participants can improve their serving technique. Zé Fördős is a permanent member on Konyhafőnök’s jury and the host of Street Kitchen. Together with his team, they work to create trendy, easy to make recipes for his followers. This program will also feature similar recipes, but with an Italian twist.

At Sunday’s workshop, Street Kitchen presents: ‘Jancsa Jani’s great burgers, not exclusively from beef!’. Jani Jancsa is known as the Burgerpapa, he has been wooing people with his fantastic burgers for years. At this workshop, he will demonstrate what he knows best: how to cook meat to perfection, make the tastiest sauces, and prepare the best burgers at home. Following this, coffee will take over once again: Ádám Barna (St. Andrea Wine & Gourmet Bar) with the help of Nespresso’s coffee ambassador, Balázs Márkosi will have participants try different types of coffee and show them how it can be incorporated into different dishes. Péter Pataky (Meatology), will hold the final workshop on the last day of the festival, called “Slow food fast, you can cook something good fast.” Chef Péter Pataky is known from the popular show, Ízes Élet, where he is notorious for his love of meat. During the workshop, he will teach participants new techniques on how to cook meat to perfection and do it fast. 

Gastro Stage Programs

Zsófia Mautner and András Jókuti will host the exciting shows on the Gastro Stage. On Saturday, Szabi Szabadfi, the award-winning pizza maker and Dani Sass, anchorman, will help guests discover the world of sweet pizzas. They will prepare a nutella pizza with pistachios and raspberry caviar. After 13 years, the popular confectionary shop, Zazzi, closed in March. Founders, Margit Varga and Melinda Erdős, will be here to reveal their most popular dessert recipe, Édes álom (Sweet Dream). Attila Bicsár moved to the countryside from Budapest, relocating to Villány’s Sauska Winery and Restaurant. He will talk about his adventures and Hungary’s countryside gastronomy, as well as cook for the audience. 

The HER presents: Balla mama, Hajdúszoboszló’s favorite grandma, who will prepare traditional dumplings from the Alföld region of Hungary. Polish Bib Gourmand restaurant chefs, will be on stage to talk about contemporary Polish gastronomy. They will also prepare a meal from seasonal vegetables. Regarded as the #10 best restaurant, the 2 Michelin star Steirereck’s award-winning Executive Chef, Heinz Reitbauser will take the stage for an hour and a half, preparing five mushroom based dishes. Maksut Askar, Neolokal’s award-winning Executive Chef, from Istanbul, has received international attention and his restaurant was featured in ‘The Diner’s Club World’s 50 Best Restaurant’ list. He will be preparing a traditional Anatolian dish that audience members can try. Csallóköz is a region rich in fish and wildlife. Villa Rosa from Dunanszerdahely, take seasonality and regionality seriously: they have their own slaughterhouse and vegetable garden. Villa Rosa’s Chefs, Imre Bindics, Péter Czucz, and Róbert Tatai will cook and tell us stories about the old-new region. Caviar specialist and known Chef, Szása Nyíri, will talk about how caviar is prepared and audience members will be able to taste freshly made caviar.

On Sunday, there will be homemade strudel making with the owner of Poroszló’s Strudelhouse. Dávid Kárai and Márk Lakatos will compete to prepare their recipes that the other person modified a bit in order to be in sync with the festival’s theme. They will have 30 minutes to complete the task. Participants will also get to learn more about South American cooking from Latin America’s best female chef, Kamilla Seidler, who will not only discuss gastronomy, but also cook for the audience. Café Gerbeaud is 160 years old. Cacao Barry Or Noir 1858, is a unique chocolate that was chosen specially, by Gerbaud Co-Owners, Katalin Pintér and Anna Niszkács, from the French Cacao Barry manufactory for the 160th birthday of Gerbeaud. Audience members will have a chance to learn more about the history of Gerbeaud, the birth of chocolate and dessert items made from this special chocolate. Chef Ádám Mészáros of the 2 Michelin Star Onyx, will prepare plum dumplings, while Ceramist Ádám Szabó, will make a biodegradable plate from a lump of clay. These two artistic elements combine to inspire senses. Ádám Pohner, Sous Chef at Kistücsök, will be representing Hungary at the famous chef championship’s European round held in Turin. You can meet him here, before his competition in June, while he prepares an original and exciting dish from beef. 

Gourmet Festival will close with an award ceremony at 7 PM. “We will continue last year’s tradition, presenting the Gourmet Award to the best exhibitors and dishes of the festival. Awards will be given based on audience members’ votes and a professional panel’s decision. This will be the closing ceremony of the festival, where as a thank you, we will toast to all of the restaurant exhibitors that worked so hard,” says Main Organizer, Richárd Nemes.

This festival is a family event, and there will be complementary activities for kids, provided by Kerek Perec gastronomy playground and Chefparade cooking school.

Paying with Smartphones

Gourmet gives you the best of gastronomy, but it has also works hard to provide visitors with the best and fastest payment method. OTP, longtime partner, will help again to achieve this. “Besides using contactless cards as a payment method, visitors can also use the Simple app to pay. You don’t need to have an OTP account in order to use or pay with the app, having a digital bank card is enough” says Zoltán Péter Nagy, OTP’s Marketing and Communication Director.

For more information visit gourmetfesztival.hu/en.

Text and photo: Gourmet Festival Press

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