István Veres, chef at the Babel restaurant in Budapest, and his commis Bence Molnár have won the Hungarian final of the Bocuse d’Or International Chef Competition. The pair will now represent Hungary at the European final in Tallinn in May.
Five more top chefs took part in the competition alongside Veres, including Eszter Palágyi (Matild Palace), Zsolt Haraszti (Société), Gábor Csik (Caviar & Bull), Tibor Huszár (Hotel Fenyves and Conference Center) and Roland Kelemen (Hunguest Hotel Aqua-Sol).
Roland Kelemen and his commis Nándor Fenyő took second place, while Zsolt Haraszti and Patrik Kocsis placed third.
The participants had to prepare two meals in five hours and 35 minutes. The obligatory raw material for the fish dish was six whole trout and Törley Chardonnay Brut. The surprise vegetable element was revealed as cabbage, while the mandatory ingredients for the meat platter included seven quails, two duck livers and a bottle of red wine.
“This is a competition where there are no opponents. You constantly fight with yourself, you have to defeat yourself. My goal, as always, is to be my best because I am a perfectionist,” said Veres.
Veres also received a special prize for best kitchen work. The prize for best teamwork and best meat plate went to Zsolt Haraszti, while Roland Kelemen won a prize for the best fish plate and a special award for environmental sustainability. David Molnár, assistant to Gábor Csik, was chosen as the best commis.
The Hungarian Bocuse d’Or Academy hosted the Hungarian final of the Bocuse d’Or International Chef Competition at the Hungexpo International Food and HoReCa Trade Fair in Budapest on Wednesday.