Chef Name: Eszter Palagyi
Title: Head Chef
Awards: 1 Michelin Star three times in a row since 2015
Dining Awards – Chef of the Year Award in 2016, 2017, 2018.
Dining Awards – Restaurant of the Year in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
How old were you when you started cooking professionally?
When I was 13 or 14 years old.
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
I learnt everything about Hungarian flavours and traditions from my dad and my family when I was a child. My family organised pig slaughtering events and even as a child I used to go hunting alongside my dad. The whole family baked and cooked together.
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
Anne-Sophie Pic, Yannick Alléno, Quique Dacosta, Daniel Humm and Rasmus Kofoed. I like their style and the stories behind each of their dishes.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
My grandmother’s and dad’s recipe notebooks. So many memories and good family recipes inside these.
Which two ingredients could you not live without?
Salt and paprika powder.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
Hungarian chicken stew with egg noodles and green salad or cucumber salad.
If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why?
Eleven Madison Park.
And who would you take as your guest?
I would go with my dad, who passed away four years ago. I would like to show him how top Michelin restaurant food could be, give him the chance to travel away from Europe and have the opportunity for a last long, good talk.
What do you look for in a good chef?
I look for an ambitious and persistent worker and someone with professional humility.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now?
Work hard, be persistent, respect your profession, make it with professional humility, respect the chef and one day be an example for others! Always be open to learning something new and be in love with your profession!
Chef Eszter Palagyi is Head Chef at Costes Restaurant.
Address: 4 Ráday Street, 1092 Budapest, Hungary.
Telephone: +36 205100054