Paprika, bread, beer named themes at Gourmet Festival

A Michelin two-star Viennese chef, the daredevils of the Korean, Russian and Albanian cuisine, and the best Italian sparkling wine will be presented at the OTP Bank Gourmet Festival, running May 16-19.

Two-star Viennese chef Konstantin Filippou will be spearheading the international chef lineup this year.

This year’s main themes will be paprika, bread end (or heel, or crust, depending on the personal choice of word), and beer. The organizers came up with keywords to help inspire the more than 50 restaurant exhibitors, who, besides offering their favorite dishes, will also offer courses designed especially for the festival, which will take place at the Millenáris in Buda.

“We want to present the best of the country as well as raise the international standards each year: this year’s lineup is the strongest so far,” says organizer Richárd Nemes. “We do not only focus on quality, but also on interesting concepts that restaurants bring with them and their chefs who have interesting stories and personalities, as these are what make the gastronomic experience unforgettable.”

“This will be the Gourmet Festival’s 9th year. It has developed into a mass attraction over the years where basic principles no longer need to be explained to the public. We think itʼs time to choose a mission for the theme. We thought about things relevant that interest us, which is how we got to using leftovers, and waste-free cooking,” notes Zsófi Mautner, Hungarian chef. “Within this category, we chose bread, which is sacred, and symbolic throughout gastronomy. From old Hungarian cuisine to Italian and French, the end of the bread has often been used in poor and folk kitchens. This includes breading, fried foods, bread salads and soups, stuffed bread, bread pudding, and many others. Many inspiring keywords come to mind, and we believe these will also inspire chefs.” 

“We found paprika important because we are known for it worldwide,” states András Jókuti, the other host of the Gourmet Festival. “Paprika also has a bit of a bitter smell: we have not paid enough attention to changing it up a bit and renewing it to show the world that it’s not only worth coming to Hungary for beef stew and goulash. We hope restaurants won’t stick to traditional foods and are inspired to show guests what can be made with paprika in 2019 that they can be proud of and is unique.” 

The third theme, beer, will not only be found as an ingredient in marinades and sauces but will also be highlighted among exhibitors. Alongside Belgian and Czech beers, Hungarian craft beers will also be available on tap. Italian sparkling wine brand Ferrari will be coming to Millenáris, presenting a lunch pairing with their specially selected sparkling wines, hosted by Strand, chosen as Hungary’s best restaurant and headed by Tamás Széll and Szabina Szulló.

This yearʼs international lineup will feature Michelin two-star chef Konstantin Filippou, offering a fusion of Austrian and Mediterranean cuisines, alongside the likes of Lee Jong-kuk from Seoul, twin chefs Ivan and Sergey Berezutsky of Twins Garden in Moscow, Albaniaʼs Bledar Kola, and Austriaʼs Max Stiegl.

Thanks to OTP, guests will be able to pay at the festival with the Simple app, besides using credit cards. Further information is available at the Gourmet Festival website here.

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