Gastronomy businesses – unintentionally, yet still – purchased a ticket for another round on this rollercoaster called the coronavirus. It’s once again time for the various creative solutions, plan Bs and practical scenarios – there’s nowhere to go but forward. In the latest episode of our series we’ll also share the form of operation of the places presented. We’ll present a fine dining restaurant where teamwork is just as important as fermentation, while in the case of the bakery in Budajenő, we’ll not only talk about sourdough breads, but also about why it is worth for businesses to remain small and rely on communities. The joint campaign of Piqniq Budapest and Mastercard.
Szilárd Tóth – owner, chef, SALT
“People should love us like salt.”
Chef Szilárd Tóth and restaurant manager Máté Boldizsár opened a new restaurant with their previous staff. The assembled team debuted in October 2019 with an innovative concept: they bring back the forgotten ingredients and regional strengths of Hungarian cuisine and reinterpret them in the context of modern cuisine, in a medium that is fundamentally different from that of fine dining restaurants. The concept worked well and they achieved a unique success owing to a combination of the dynamics of the team and their gastronomical concept.
Máté Boldizsár – owner, manager, SALT
“Those who survive will emerge stronger from the current situation.”
As opposed to the majority of fine dining restaurants, SALT has placed a great emphasis on establishing a Hungarian core audience since their opening, owing to which they could launch their delivery service built on staple foods at the very beginning of the epidemic. They delivered orders personally, thus further strengthened the connection between guests and the team, and after the reopening guests could return to the restaurant as “old” friends, with an even greater feeling.
Even though the restaurant is closed in light of the current regulations, SALT Deli is available again: make sure to pre-order the legendary bread, ham, bacon and home-made butter and sneak a little SALT experience into your home.
Gergő Fekete – owner, Artizán
“I had a chance to start a business abroad, but my heart called me home.”
Gergő Fekete spent twelve years abroad, and obtained a university degree in hospitality and human resources in Edinburgh. He has worked in several prestigious restaurants as a chef, waiter and restaurant manager. He fell in love with bread in one of the fine dining restaurants, and there was no stopping from here: in 2012, he obtained the baker certification in Scotland, and worked in numerous bakeries of several countries to get the necessary practice and experience. As he couldn’t overcome his homesickness, he returned to Hungary in 2015 with the idea of opening Artizán Budapest, which eventually became one of the first artisan bakeries in Hungary.
Currently they are open for takeaways on all days of the week, and you can order your favorites online, too.
Judit Csaplár – manager, Almalomb (Hosszúhetény)
Rita Ásványi started renovating the Dallos-Böröcz Water Mill, a nationally protected monument in Hosszúhetény eight years ago with her family and Judit Csaplár, based on the designs of Ybl award-winning architect Margit Pelényi. Almalomb Culinary Retreat and Meeting Place was born five years ago as a result of this work. Without experience in hospitality, they focused on preserving values by making sure that the monuments were not only renovated but also received a community function. Today, Almalomb‘s appearance is clean, simple, with an industrial vibe –this is what makes the building complex honest and authentic. There are no unnecessary adornments and inappropriate objects in the spaces, everything is connected to the location and has a function. They worked with the latest technologies in the course of the renovation, but they also strived to get as much as possible from Hungarian craftsmen and manufacturers. This is how the estate’s unique style came into being.
“There are many ways to serve guests, but to host them is a true calling.”
In Almalomb, guests are not simply served, they are hosted. The owners consider it a part of quality hospitality to get to know and keep in contact with other local businesses and to offer the services of the region together based on the needs of guests. This is how they encourage visitors to spend more time in the region, to visit more places, thus making their stay worthwhile and meaningful. Currently they offer home deliveries.
Gabriella Ormós – Jenői Pékség
“Today, the key to survival is having a community around you.”
Gabriella Ormós has become a key figure in the breadmaking community. She purchased a ruinous house in Budajenő in 2005, which, as it later turned out, was once the home of the baker of the village. At the time she was still working at the agency she established, and breadmaking was only a hobby to her. Then she left the agency and became a professional baker in 2017. She has been improving herself professionally ever since and has formed a strong community base around herself out of the people who have the same committed and passionate approach to sourdough. She started holding courses under the brand name Jenői Pékség, then launched her blog under the name KovászLabor together with an extremely popular Facebook group. Community is the key to survival – Gabi says –, and so it is not a problem at all, rather an advantage if a business can remain small, as she thinks the power of the community is what can keep these businesses alive. In times of peace, she is happy to teach anyone the tips and tricks of baking sourdough bread in her baker shop in Budajenő in the form of thematic workshops, and currently we can order the best quality breads from Gabi for takeaway.
Photo | Dávid Horpáczi
Video | Gergő Sepsi
In their joint campaign, Piqniq Budapest and Mastercard present the figures of Hungarian gastronomy businesses through 25 topics: hospitality workers, professionals, suppliers and experts related to the field share their experiences in an authentic manner. Come and get to know them more in our weekly series!