From the first second, their complicity is obvious. The hug is frank, the respect is almost palpable. For many years Éric Jacquier has delivered treasures of Lake Geneva to chef Yoann Conte : fera, perch, arctic char, "noble" or more common fish. Heir to a long tradition – in the family, the love of fishing has been handed down from father to son for several centuries –, Éric Jacquier agrees to work with a chef under one condition: that they come fishing with him on the lake. Soak up this job, with its schedules and constraints, and understand that fishing is not an exact science. His message is clear: the chefs must adapt their menu to what nature has to offer! Message received loud and clear by Yoann Conte, who in the kitchen strives to respect the lake's fish and lets it express all its potential.
Whether you prefer the hilly tranquility of the Buda side, or the big city bustle of the Pest side of Budapest, one can lunch or dine in an elegant venue worthy of international standards. Bistronomy restaurant Felix, has a kitchen headed by a French chef, on the Buda side. Spago, a newcomer initiated by famous Austrian-American chef Wolfgang Puck, is located at the other end of the Elisabeth Bridge, on the Pest side of the city. Both share great respect for the classic French technique, paired with a love of Hungarian ingredients and international ambitions.
Wine has a special place in Slovenian culture. For proof of this, you need look no further than St Martin's Day, an annual folk festival that celebrates the arrival of new wines on 11 November, when wine fever gives rise to festivities in vineyards across the country, from the Mediterranean to the Hungarian border. Around this date, most restaurants are fully booked and serve specific menus, in which wine plays the starring role. This is just one example of the close ties between gastronomy and viticulture in a country that has a very strong food-loving culture.
When thinking of Hungarian cuisine, the names of paprika, stuffed peppers and goulash instantly bring water to one’s mouth—but there’s much more to discover about the rich and sometimes unusual traditions of this beautiful Central European country.
Over the past few years, the capital city of Hungary has seen the emergence of a new and dynamic culinary scene. Young chefs and prestigious names of the international gastronomy have brought change into the kitchens of this metropolis. Hungarian traditions are being revived, appealing to a younger generation of foodies who praise local, sustainable and artisanal products. Today, it is possible to experience Budapest as a real gourmet, from a starry breakfast to an intimate dinner in one of the hippest districts of the city.