Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

via Scandic Hotels and Wikipedia

Cooking at a Scandic Hotel via Wikipedia

The past few years have seen the arrival of several celebrity chefs, from Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa, whose restaurant Nobu is still going strong as the local power-broker commissary, to Anthony Bourdain’s visit for his TV special, Parts Unknown. The latest news on the fast-developing culinary scene in Budapest is the imminent arrival of one of the most recognizable celebrity chefs around: Jamie Oliver, who will be helping open an Italian eatery in the Castle District come spring. Budapest will then join Rotterdam, Moscow, and Istanbul in the distinction of hosting a Jamie’s Italian brand restaurant.

Jamies_Hero

Oliver became one of the world’s most recognizable chefs via his cooking show The Naked Chef in the UK and his heroic efforts to bring healthy, whole food to school lunch programs in the US on his show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Oliver’s global brand includes dozens of Jamie’s Italian restaurants, over 20 cookbooks, and multiple TV series that run from reality-based cooking shows to culinary travelogues. As his reach has extended even into video games, he might be the most diversified chef on the planet. Various sources list him as the second wealthiest celebrity chef, behind America’s Alan Wong. While Oliver has never before visited Budapest on a professional level, his series Jamie at Home ran on Hungarian television, so his face will also be familiar to local food enthusiasts.

Jamie’s Italian will take over the space currently occupied by the restaurant Hadik in Buda’s Castle District. While it is not known how much involvement Oliver will have in the restaurant’s day-to-day operation, all the cuisine will be based on his recipes and concept. So, while we don’t expect to see him pinching fruit at the Central Market Hall, we are confident Jamie’s Italian and Budapest will pair well together.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The local blogosphere was set a-twitter in the last few weeks as two international heavyweights of the culinary world visited and reported on their discoveries in and around Budapest. With four Michelin-star restaurants, Hungary has earned more of that top honor than any other country of the former Soviet Bloc, putting it in the spotlight for adventurous eaters, and turning it into a surprise high-end culinary destination.

anthony bourdain budapest

Anthony Bourdain, who is perhaps the most recognizable television personality covering international locations, made a stop in Budapest for his CNN series Parts Unknown (the full episode is embedded below). He was soon followed by top UK food critic, Elite Traveler Magazine writer Andy Hayler, who covered several of Hungary’s fine dining restaurants.

Bourdain – who is known for his adventourous eating habits (cobra heart, anybody?) played it somewhat safe in Budapest, keeping to the gilded confines of the tourist favorite New York Café for Hungarian goose liver, though he did venture out for a more local experience at an étkezde (lunch canteen), for a chicken liver crepe with bone marrow gravy, followed by a schnitzel big enough to swaddle a baby in.

Anthony Bourdain schnitzel

via @Bourdain/ Twitter

A stop to a butcher’s for sausage, which the personality got his mouth around more capably than the difficult Hungarian-language pronunciation, and it was off for a relaxing with a dip in fabled Gellért Baths with Academy Award winning legend of cinematography Vilmos Zsigmond. Bourdain came away from Budapest proclaiming his experience ‘deeply delicious’.

New York Café Budapest

New York Café via Wikipedia

Gellért Baths

Gellért Baths via Wikipedia

Hayler, perhaps less adventurously, stuck to high-end dining in Hungary, reviewing restaurants Ikon, Borkonyha, Olimpia, and Four Seasons Hotel eatery Kollázs. Hayer has the distinction of having eaten at ‘every three-star Micheleon restaurant in the world,’ which is fair to say makes him an authority on good food.

Calling Budapest ‘seriously elegant’ Hayler seemed most impressed with the country’s wine, citing Hungarian winery’s Szepsy 6 Puttnyos Furmit as the highlight of the trip. Each restaurant experience received praise for food and service, though Borkonyha (see our post on the restaurant here) fared best. No surprise there, if you like wine the ‘Wine Kitchen’ is the place to be, offering the best Hungarian wines along side Michelin star quality food. Hayler summed it up as such: “Overall I enjoyed the meal tonight, the food quite inventive, the wines excellent and the atmosphere relaxed.”

Fine Dining Budapest

Borkonyha in Budapest

Borkonyha via Lonely Planet

Long gone are the days when fine dining in Budapest meant a trip to Gundel or Vienna. Pull up a chair at the big table: with the likes of Bourdain and Hayler, you’re in good company.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

Read Full Post »

It was only a few years back when the Budapest fine-dining scene got its first Michelin Star. That honor went to Costes, a restaurant that has since maintained their status as one of the top culinary destinations in Budapest. Not long after, honors were bestowed on Onyx, a chic newish restaurant known for its modern takes on Hungarian cuisine. Michelin has been threatening to drop another star on Budapest for some time now, but it took the fantastic team at Borkonyha (Wine Kitchen) – a French/Hungarian restaurant that has one of the best wine lists in the city to seal the deal.

borkonyha-sae-rkoe-zi-img-3246-800x532

Borkonyha  is the place for carefully assembled, fresh, and innovative modern fine dining. Crispy duck liver,  daily seafood specials, variations from the Hungarian wonder-pig mangalica, and Juniper Ox Cheek are standouts on the small but excellent menu. The servers are on hand to give expert wine-pairing recommendations, as one of the owners worked with the Hungarian Wine Society. Borkonyha is a friendly upscale place that has risen quickly to become the favorite of many local foodies here in Budapest, and with the people at Michelin as well, it seems.

borkonyha-winekitchen-images-photos-528220c8e4b0bca88f9be8fe

According to the chef Ákos Sárközi (via the Wine Kitchen Website): “What is my philosophy? I would like to create a kitchen full of flavors. If I had to define my style, I would say that it is open to any influences. As I get inspiration from the Transylvanian cuisine, I’m also ready to use Spanish, French or Italian ingredients. My aim is to show the many facets of the traditional Hungarian cuisine by using contemporary approach and kitchen technology.”

We extend a hearty congratulations to Borkonyha, another shining addition to the fast-growing Budapest dining scene. The hype is well-deserved in this case.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

Read Full Post »

Excuse us if we seem a little tipsy. It’s November which means that while it may be a difficult time for sunbathers, it is a great time for wine lovers. That’s because November is ‘new wine’ season, when vineyards release a limited amount of the year’s vintage. ‘Újbor’ in Hungarian, it is better known by its French name, Beaujolais nouveau. The product of early harvest red grapes (though to a lesser degree you will see whites and rosé) Hungarian újbor is usually light, fruity, and highly potable.

szent_marton_bora

The celebrations of the new wine go hand in hand with St. Martin’s Day. As such, two of the reasons we think Hungary has become the second top tourist destination in the world converge in November: wine and festivals. Hungary is a country that celebrates all its culinary niches with festivals, and újbor is no different. How St. Martin himself became identified with the release of new wine is largely speculation. Some say it is due to his generous nature, while others maintain it is merely because he is from the town of Tours in France, the nation traditionally identified with a finicky wine culture.

Saint-Martin

St. Martin’s new wine festivals happen in the middle of the month, taking place across the country. In Budapest we have the Saint Martin’s Day Festival that unfolds over three days at the ever-glamorous Gellért Hotel. If you want a less ritzy venue, the Hungarian Museum of Agriculture in Budapest’s City Park also sponsors a November 9th St. Martin’s Day celebration, offering tastings of goose dishes as well as újbor, along with a program of folk crafts and dancing. Both venues have goose on the menu: in Hungary the bird is traditionally served with new vintage wines, as it is believed to bring good fortune for the coming year.

festival10

So don’t feel too bad as autumn transitions into winter – do as the Hungarians do and celebrate new beginnings and the great things to come.

About the author: For a manuscript critique, click through to Wordpill Manuscript Editing.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

Read Full Post »

beer

Budapest is in the throes of a revolution. No, you will not see marching in the streets. This is a quieter, more flavorful revolution.  It’s fair to say that everybody of legal drinking age, both left and right leaning, rich and poor, supports the revolution in craft-beer brewing that is occurring in Budapest and around Hungary.

Though a bit behind the international trend in brewing craft- and micro-brews, Hungary is catching up, and doing so with style and taste. A new Hungarian craft brewing company seems to appear every week, as do the all micro-brew bars that sell their products. The trend in Hungarian micro-brew beer appears to have started in Miskolc with the Serforrás Brewery, which was one of the first small-size breweries to began experimenting with pale ales, pilsners, and lagers, which they sold from their own pub and at local restaurants. More recently they have broken new ground in concocting the first ever Tokaj Aszű-infused beer. Having tasted this sweet desert-wine flavored beer, we can say that it is almost too much of a good thing.

The next major step in the craft beer invasion was the inclusion of locally made beer Keserű Méz (Bitter Honey) at Budapest’s most popular beer garden, Szimpla Kert. The micro-brew bar/store Csak a Jó Söroök (Only Good Beers) forwarded the charge by selling recently introduced Hungarian micro-brews alongside the best international beers, and has proved so popular a bar that they have taken over the space next door to them, proving that there is a local and international thirst for beers that are more expensive but more daring than those produced by the handful of large multinational beer breweries.

beer2

In just the last few years, the market has exploded with Hungarian craft beers of all sorts. You can find Hungarian IPA’s, double IPA’s, porters, stouts, red ales, beers infused with elderberry, blueberry, plum, and apple; bocks, double bocks, wheat beers and more routine lagers and pilsners; all brewed locally. We’d list more but we are getting thirsty. It’s time to join the revolution, if they will only let us find space at the bar.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

Read Full Post »

Every country has a drink they are famous for. France had champagne, Scotland has scotch whisky, and Mexico has tequila. Hungary of course is no exception, offering visitors a chance to taste the strange herbal aperitif known as Unicum.

The purple/brown digestive has been a mainstay of Hungarian bars and liqueur cabinets since its invention in the 17th century by the Zwack family. And with the cold weather dropping into the deep freeze in these parts, revelers are increasingly turning to the warming spirit to keep a fire lit in the belly.

Like most national treasures, there is a bit of lore surrounding Unicum. Its medicinal qualities are touted heavily by imbibers, as the aperitif is believed to resolve digestion problems.  It is claimed the drink got its name when Emperor Josef II tasted it and proclaimed: “Das ist ein UNIKUM”, or “That is unique!”  Non-Hungarian natives have other words for it. I quote from Time Out Magazine: Unicum is “bitter as cold winter’s night”, or “Like licking the blade of a lawn-mower.”  This grassy bitterness can be put down to the almost 40 herbs used in the recipe. Which herbs they are is a well-guarded trade secret. Once the Zwack family fled Hungary (and the Communist regime) the government, missing the drink, attempted to replicate it, marketing the results of educated guess-work under the Unicum brand name. Only after the regime fell did the Zwacks return to Hungary to reclaim the brand and begin producing Unicum according to the exacting standards under which it was created.

Though Americans prefer the sweeter Jagermeister and Italian Fernet, there is a Facebook page dedicated to bringing Unicum to the States. One quality of Unicum which makes foreigners resist it is its lack of mixability. What could possibly go well with Unicum? Unlike pálinka (a Hungarian fruit brandy) it does not play well with others, and we have yet to taste a reasonable cocktail made with the spirit. But why would you want to dilute such a powerful, unique flavor? To some of us, it tastes like Hungary itself, and as we all know, Hungary is able to stand on its own.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

Read Full Post »

Not long ago, cast members of The Borgias TV series praised the restaurant M in the New York Times, calling it a ‘favorite hangout’. But there are lots of other great restaurants in Budapest — ones to fit all sizes of budget and ego. Here, from the most pricey to the least exclusive, are some of our recommended places to dine for those shooting in Budapest:

Star: The place to see and be seen is without a doubt Nobu, the Budapest outpost of the international sushi franchise owned by, amongst others, Robert De Niro and producer Andrew Vajna. Highly praised since its opening, Nobu has defied skeptics and managed to stay crowded. Needless to say, their sushi is a healthy option to much of the meat-based cuisine that is offered around town. Other pricey, high-end options: Costes, Onyx, Baraka.

Director: Csalogány 26. Not quite the flashy event destination that Nobu is, the understated yet elegant Csalogány 26 has been a favorite with local foodies for many years now. Serving Hungarian/International fusion, including unique takes on Hungary’s famous Mangalica pork, Csalogány 26 is consistently rated one of the top restaurants in the county. Other fine dining but down-to-earth options: Bock Bisztró, Pesti Disznó, Fausto’s

Cast: Well, M would be our choice here, but since they have already received their fair share of publicity, we will give a shout out to Klassz. Housed in a lovely storefront space on the beautiful Andrássy Avenue, it has survived the recession and even a few ups and downs in the kitchen. Known for their extensive, exquisitely chosen wine list, and reasonably priced menu (look out for the game dishes and vegetable soups), Klassz is a hot spot with locals and tourists alike, and gets filled to capacity nightly. Other lively mid-priced options: Café Kör, Dernye Bisztró, Olimpia.

Crew: There are plenty of places to eat in Budapest where you can try excellent fare without dropping tens of thousands of forints. One of our favorites is Caladonia Scottish Pub. Strictly speaking, Caladonia is a Scottish pub, but their food is also excellent. If you want the closest thing to a British fish and chips, this is where you will go. They also serve one of the top hamburgers in the city, excellent Scottish beers on tap, and, of course, a wide selection of whisky to wash away the day’s stress. Other filling options that won’t break the bank: Rubin, Hax’n Király, Ring Café.

Writer: Ah, the bottom of the barrel. You will want to drown your sorrows as the director and star mangle your words, and hopefully get some cheap nutrition while you do it. For this we have to recommend the newly re-vamped menu at Csiga Café. Most dishes, from goose leg to pastas, are well under 10 euro, and filling and satisfying as you could want. For self-medication purposes, Csiga doubles as a pub, and stays open late. You will even get to mix with the occasional holdover street-walker or gangster from the notorious Rákóczi Square’s darker days. Other budget-but-tasty options: Kiadó Kocsma, Casztro Bisztró, Fecske Presszó.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »