Hungarian Culinary Week

Hungarian Culinary Week in Israel

Introducing the modern gastronomy of the land of Paprika and confectionaries

More than 20 special culinary events, intertwined with Hungarian food and culture, with leading Hungarian chefs and pastry chefs, and Israel’s top chefs.

April 7-12, 2019, all over the country

As with Israel, Hungarian cuisine is undergoing a revolutionary transformation in recent years: young, talented and energetic chefs are reimagining the classic recipes of Hungarian cuisine in a creative and extremely tasty way, preserving the respect for fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. In addition to the grand old restaurants, culinary institutions and the cafés of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, places offering fresh, surprising and novel dishes have emerged over the past decade, following the latest trends in the culinary world. Budapest, the capital of Hungary, has become a mandatory destination for all foodies, with four Michelin restaurants operating in the city alone, which receives 10 million visitors a year. One of them even has two stars.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of Hungarian-Israeli diplomatic relations, a week of Hungarian Culinary Week is organized throughout the country between April 7 and 12, with the participation of the Hungarian Embassy, all within the framework of the Hungarian Culture Year.

The main organizer of the week is Ofer Vardi, and his culinary producers Galia Ornan and Sani Mador. During the week, more than 20 culinary events will take place with leading Hungarian chefs, who’ll enjoy the hospitality of acclaimed Israeli chefs, will hold baking and cooking workshops, and will present a culinary array from the current Hungarian food scene.

Meanwhile, a series of events related to Hungarian gastronomy will be organized:

exhibitions, films, performances and meetings, such as:

The young and extravagant chef, Attila Kurucz, one of the pioneers of the new Hungarian cuisine, who has won the most innovative Hungarian chef award last month at the upscale Dining Guide competition, will arrive to Israel from his Tiszavirág restaurant in Szeged, to cook with ErelKimchi at Tel Aviv’s Popina Restaurant ( 04. 10-12.).

Kurucz reimagines classic dishes, such as the famous Szeged fish soup, which in his presentation turns into a sophisticated and elegant dish, or the 160-year-old Gerbeaud cake, which he “destroys” on the plate and creates an astonishing dessert.

Richard Farkas (Ricsi) chef from the Pajta restaurant on the Hungarian-Austrian-Slovenian border, who won the title of the most promising young chef of the year at the Dining Guide competition, will cook at the Tel Aviv’s Jozveloz restaurant (04.9-10. 2019), and at Mona restaurant in Jerusalem (04.08, 2019)

Chef Segal, who worked with some of the greatest Israeli chefs in the 1990s (including Haim Kohen from the legendary Keren restaurant), returns to Israel to cook two grand dinners in Ein Karem with Ezra Kedem, who he was working with during his time in Israel (04.10-11, 2019)

In 2014, Andor Giczi and Szabolcs-Nagy opened the Fricska Gastropub. A youthful Hungarian bistro kitchen with a menu that changes daily, based on seasonal ingredients from the market. They will cook at the Whale restaurant in Eilat (04.09-10, 2019) and in Hamara Talpijot (04.11-12, 2019) in Haifa.

At the Cafe Louise in Ramat Hahayal, you will be hosted by a Hungarian from Transylvania, Jutka Herstein, owner of the Harduf restaurant in the north. Herstein, of Hungarian-Transylvanian origin, cooks based on the philosophy pf anthroposophy (04.07-08, 2019).

The vegan Hungarian cuisine is represented by Kristóf Steiner, leader of the scene in Hungary. Steiner was a prominent television star in Hungary and currently lives in Israel with his partner Nimrod Dagan. He published two books in Hungarian and English, and during the Hungarian culinary week he will cook at the vegan Meshek Barzilay in Tel Aviv and will also hold a lecture (04.08, 2019).

Chef Csaba Harmath from Hungary will cook a Drunken Feast (lots of meat, fat and alcohol) at the monastery bar next to the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. Harmath will also be paying a visit to the Hansen House in Jerusalem, specifically to the cafe and the barnyard of the Afaim farm and will cook the best dairy dishes of the Hungarian cuisine. Harmath, a former economist, has turned his hobby into his profession: he cooks, teaches, and advises the best restaurants in Hungary (04.07-08, 2019).

Laci Segev, owner of the Hungarian Tulip restaurant in Tel Aviv, served for 20 years as the manager of the legendary Judith’s Café in Gan Ha’ir. After closing in 2009 under tragic circumstances, Segev opened his restaurant, which for years has served as a meeting place for Hungarian immigrants in Israel who miss the Hungarian kitchen on which they grew up. In the course of the Hungarian Culinary Week, Segev will hold two dinners at the Tulip restaurant (04.10-11, 2019) with a special menu composed of the flagship dishes of Judith’s café – a tribute to the late owner Yehudit Sharon.

At Meshek Melamed at Kfar Hanagid, a goulash picnic with chef from Hungary who recently did Aliya, Ferenc (Feri) Sziklai. In his organic restaurant that operates exclusively on the “farm to table” idea, Sziklai will cook a Hungarian meal including a “wings order”: Hungarian chicken with lecho and potatoes and organic chicken goulash. (04.12, 2019).

On the occasion of the week of Hungarian cuisine, the downtown Haifa will see Hummus Hungarian style, served with goulash, lecsó, or liver, created by Fadi Karman, a member of a well-known and beloved Muslim family, and his wife, Hungarian-born Sosi (04.07-09, 2019).

Regarding the world famous Hungarian pastries and desserts:

József Juhospasrty chef, owner of the Sütizz confectionery in Budapest, who worked in Gundel and Gerbeaud, will arrive at the Tel Aviv Claro restaurant as a guest of chef Ran Smuéli, and prepare modern versions of classic Hungarian desserts and cakes. In addition, Juhos will hold a classical Hungarian cake workshop at the Bishulim School (04.9-12, 2019).

The boulanger-chef Gergő Fekete, owner of the Artizán bakery in the heart of Budapest, will be the guest of by 96 Eran Schwarzbard at the Boulangerie 96 (04.10-12, 2019), and Yahaloma’s new restaurant, Sachki, Sachki on the election day (04.9, 2019). Together they will be preparing a Hungarian brunch, with authentic Hungarian cakes, with lots of poppy seeds, apricot jam and other scrumptious treats. Reservations: 03-7744511.

Tímea Árgyelán, owner of the Alma bakery in Budapest, will be a guest at Lechem shel Tomer in Jerusalem on 04.08-09, 2019, and will bake cakes, pastries, cookies and bread. Tímea cooks with organic ingredients, using seasonal fruits and vegetables. For further information: 1599505099.

On April 10, 2019, she also holds an oven workshop at the Bishulim school in Tel Aviv. To register and for further information: 03-6819141

For wine lovers: the guest of the week is Dr. Gabriella Mészáros, one of Hungary’s leading wine experts, who leads two Hungarian wine and brandy tastings at Tel Aviv’s Norman hotel. Dr. Mészáros, who left her original occupation as an attorney due to her appreciation and expertise of wine, presents a comprehensive knowledge of Hungarian wine culture, with its 22 wine regions, and a world-famous wine industry that is slowly returning the golden era of pre-communism.

Staying with alcohol, A Fröccs-party (wine with soda) at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Yafo on election day, with special Hungarian wine snacks (04.09, 2019).

The events that will take place during the week will link Hungarian cuisine to the entire cultural spectrum:

“Ta-arucha” is a special co-operation between the “Discoverable Israel” project by the Yad Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem. From the Life of Immigrants of Hungarian Origin (04.12, 2019). The photo albums, recipe booklets and diaries of Hungarian immigrants will be presented at the event, while the “Paprika and Salt” exhibition will showcase the meals, family recipes and the culinary arts of the Hungarian diaspora, with the help of “Discoverable Israel” albums.

The pictures are brought to life by chef Smil Hollander, a historian of Eastern European food culture, with tales and tastings. Smil’s set table includes dishes prepared according to the old recipe books preserved by Hungarian immigrants, and spiced with special humor and anecdotes related to Hungarian cuisine. In addition, a meeting with the secretary of the ultra-orthodox Hungarian houses in Jerusalem will also held. (Reservation: 02-5398855).

The number of places is limited, reservations are recommended in the restaurants participating in the Hungarian Culinary Week. April 7-12, all over the country.