Budapest – The Culinary Capital of Europe

Austin had the pleasure of attending a Budapest FAM trip in April. The expedition was very professionally organised by the Hungarian Convention Bureau and it gave Austin the opportunity to refresh contacts with many of Budapest finest 5 star Hotels as well as inspect some of Budapest Unique Venues suitable for both gala dinners and meetings.


The highlight of the FAM trip to Budapest, in Austin’s eyes, was the opportunity to embark on an incentive programme in Budapest.  Austin had the opportunity to sample some of Travel Out There’s incentive products in Budapest.  These included an interactive sightseeing tour of Budapest on the back of a Rickshaw, a one hour intensive Hungarian lesson (it is a miracle how learning a few words of Hungarian really helps break the ice with locals as well as act as a great team building activity for all those involved).  The program ended with an interactive cooking experience Hungarian Style! The team were split in to 3 groups and each group were issued the challenge to prepare a course for the Budapest Feast!  (obviously washed down with some of Hungary’s finest wine!)  The results both on and off the table were impeccable – please find below the recipe for our Hungarian Culinary delight….it is certainly gets your taste buds tingling!!!


Tárkonyos csirkeragu leves

Chicken soup with tarragon and vegetables


Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ingredients for four persons

– little oil, little butter

– 1 onion (hagyma)

– 200 g chicken meat (breast or leg) about 7oz

– 1 carrot (sárgarépa)

– ¼ celery root/celeriac (zeller gumó)

– 1  parsnip (fehérrépa)

– ½ handful of green peas (about 1/4 cup)

– 1 tbs fresh or dried tarragon (tárkony)

– salt, pepper to taste

– 1 tbs white wine or lemon juice

– 1 l (4 cups) chicken stock (or bouillon cube + water to make 4 cups) (leveskocka)

– 100-100 ml (3 oz each) cream and sour cream (főzőtejszín, tejföl)


Chop onion finely.  Chop other vegetables into small pieces (1×1 cm. or as you like for soup).

Wash chicken and chop into small (1×1) pieces.

Heat oil and butter in a large pot and sauté onions until clear.  If using a bouillon cube, chop the cube and sauté with the onion (add some water and more later, with the wine).

Add the chicken, salt and pepper, stirring constantly, cook for a few minutes.

Add the other vegetables, along with the tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour in the wine, and stew until the meat becomes half tender. Add the chicken stock (or water if using bouillon cube) and simmer until meat and veggies are cooked.

Remove pan from fire.  Mix together sour cream and cream (and a dash of flour if desired); add sour cream mixture to soup.  Bring soup to a boil and serve.


Catfish pörkölt

Preparation time: 20 min

Ingredients for 4 persons:

-1 onion

-600 g catfish fillet

-1 teaspoon red pepper

-2 tomatoes

-2 yellow letcho paprika

-hot red pepper for your taste


-2 tablespoons of oil


Cut catfish into cubes, tomato and paprika in slices. Chop onions.

Stir fry the finely chopped onions on little oil until light golden, remove from fire and stir in the piros paprika and give half a cup of water. When its boiling, turn the heat low, add the sliced tomatoes, hot pepper, salt, and cook for 10-15 min.

Add the fish -that you cut in cubes before- then cook for 4-5 mins (it will be ready soon, because the fish doesn’t need that much time), if needed season it with more salt or add “pörkölt paste” or “gulyás krém”. Put back on stove and bring to boil 1 minute than serve.

While serving, you can put sour cream on the top.

Garnish with potatoes or pasta.

(best with traditional Hungarian cottage cheese pasta, called „túrós csusza”.)

Gundel palacsinta

Gundel pancakes

Origin: Hungarian

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ingredients for 10 pancakes:

For the pancakes:

–         250 g flour

–        salt

–        2 eggs

–       300 ml milk

–       1 tbs sugar

–       soda water

–       oil


For the filling:

–         150 ml rum

–        200 g of grated walnut

–        1l milk or cream

–       120 g sugar

–       cinnamon

–       raisins

–       20 g of candied zest of orange


For the chocolate sauce:

–       100 g chocolate

–       3 egg yolks

–       450 ml milk

–       120g sugar

–       vanillin sugar

–       50 g of cocoa

–       15 g of flour

–        butter



In a bowl, whisk the eggs with sugar, the milk and the salt

Add so many flour, spoon after spoon, that you get a very thick paste.

Take the soda water and flush some to the paste, while mix and stir it. Give half a cup, after stir it well again. Go on with it, until you get a creamy batter, and after add once more soda water.

So you get a „non-lumpy” liquid batter, medium thick, but fluid.

Using a pancake pan, bake the palacsinta. Pour 3/4 cup batter on the hot pan (brushed with oil), revolve it, and bake both sides.

To make the filling: Mix ground walnut , sugar, hot cream , cinnamon, raisins, sliced orange zest  in a cooking pan. Adding some milk heat is up. Cook until getting a creamy sauce. Chill and add half of the rum. Fill the pancakes with the custard. Roll  and keep warm the pancakes.

For the chocolate sauce: Melt chocolate, and separate eggs. Warm half of the milk. Using a bowl, mix the egg yolks with flour, sugar, cocoa powder, vanillin sugar. Then add melted chocolate and step by step the rest of the milk as well.

Pour it slowly to the warm milk and cook it, while continuously stirring it. (don’t boil it!!)  Take off from fire and add rest of the rum.

Grill the filled Gundel pancakes on some butter until crispy, and serve them hot with the chocolate sauce on the top.