The best Austrian Chef Combines dry land and the sea
What happens when Austrian and Mediterranean cuisines are mixed together? The Greek-Austrian Konstantin Filippou owns the best Austrian two Michelin star restaurant.
Konstantin Filippou was born in Graz to a Greek father, so he got accustomed to Mediterranean flavors at an early age. He’s worked in the Viennese Steirereck, Gordon Ramsay London restaurant, and San Sebastian’s Arzak. He received a 19/20, the highest Gault Millau ranking at his Viennese restaurant, which he named after himself, where the atmosphere is not about how much money you have and nobody feels older than their age. He also has a bistro next door with a more relaxed atmosphere, with many student guests.
Like the friendly philosophy behind them, the dishes are clean and due to the family background combine Central European and seafood elements. Duck liver parfait and baked-onion foam, clam soup with radish, Norway lobster ribeye crumbs with lemon jelly, scallops with marrow, lobster and mangalica (pork), pidgeon heart and liver in a thick, dark soup are on the menu. Sommelier’s from Timo Muliar will be arriving at Gourmet Festival’s exclusive dinner.
Lee Jong-kuk 104
What does 15-year-old soy sauce taste like?
We will find out from the creative yet tradition-honoring Lee Jong-kuk who brings his Michelin star Seoul cuisine, to Budapest thanks to Gourmet Festival.
Michelin has dedicated a special guide to Seoul for three years now, and this is no coincident: it includes 61 Bib Gourmand restaurants with a great value for your money, 5 places also deserved 2 stars. There are 19 starred places, including Lee Dzsong-kuk, also known as the renewer of Korean Cuisine, and his restaurant, Lee Jong Kuk 104.
Dzsong-kuk is among those believed to be giving the Korean kitchen a new direction - in a famous quote of his he states, he would never replace chives for a meat ingredient, indicating his attachment to seasonality. The sauces take the lead, that is jangok (the guide also draws attention to these and highlights living traditions): the 50-year-old soy sauce, 30-year-old red chili paste (gochujang) and vinegar, which is aged for 5 years.
Overlooking the downtown, the restaurant is located in a diplomatic and fortified neighborhood with ultra-innovative and contemporary ceramics. The restaurant received its name after the chef’s grandfather who fought for independence. The guide describes the dishes as works of art. On the ground floor of the three-story restaurant, noodles are sold with entrees and desserts. On the second floor, seasons determine the menu, and the third floor is fine dining: here Dzsong-kuk himself cooks dinner for VIP guests. Guests at Gourmet Festival can experience the latter: the chef will also host an exclusive dinner at Millenaris, following his stage performance.
Sophisticated Russian hospitality, in a double serving
Moscow’s latest star, Twins Garden, which is listed on global lists is headed by a pair of twins. They now bring their favorite ingredients from their huge country, to introduce them.
Ivan and Sergej Berezutszkij, are twins that have been a fan of cooking ever since childhood but achieved success as chefs separately. Their joint restaurant opened at the end of 2017. Their restaurant Twins Garden quickly became a huge success and placed 72nd on the world’s best 100 restaurants list. They promise to present Russian ingredients in their entirety but avoid stereotypes and patterns.
“We really love Russian ingredients. There are many nationalities that live in Russia, in varying climates who love their products and know how to prepare them. We are inspired by traveling and meeting them rather than other chefs’ work. We visited an area in the Altai where there was no TV and a woman showed us how she makes pelmeni: using potatoes, but no onions.” Imagine dishes such as smoked deer and lobster on birch, buckwheat ice cream with sea snails and porcini mushrooms, or for dessert blueberry soup with ice cream, and as mentioned in their interview, with the use of their favorite summer ingredients, yellow chanterelle, and watermelon.
“Twins are always believed to represent unity, but we are completely different chefs, who share tasks. We do not compete, rather we exploit each others’ strengths, to make sure our restaurant is successful” - they said as both agreed that this is the best stop so far along their journey. The Moscow restaurant can be reached via a cobblestone courtyard, where firewood is steeped and family photos along with a tandem bicycle can be found hanging on the wall of the rustic dining room. While these items won’t make it, they will bring their favorite ingredients and dishes in May so audience members can taste them at a Gourmet Festival exclusive dinner.
MAX STIEGL - GUT PURBACH
The Burgenland gut loving chef
Gut Purbachot is characterized by a mixture of French and Burgenland traditions. Max Stiegel believes that all parts of an animal should be processed.
Steamed dumpling and fish soup, fresh fish from the Fertő lake and wild meat from the Lajta hill, lamb from a private farm, poultry from a next-door farm, herbs and wild garlic from the garden, seasonal menus - this is how Max Stiegl’s Purbach restaurant, Gut Purbach looks like. Max is known for using all parts of an animal, including tripe and sheep tongue, which is why the recently passed away Anthony Bourdain visited him. He is inspired by the French kitchen and also introduces traditional Burgenland flavors. In his menu, you will find ginger-tomato pheasant ramen, and for dessert, mango-poppy steamed dumplings. Max will show his creativity on Gourmet’s stage.
BLEDAR KOLA - MULLIXHIU
Studied in Noma, now he teaches kids to cook
The Albanian Bledar Kola trained in London and then studied in the legendary Nova in Naga and in the famous Fäviken in Norway. He learned that it is not the price of the raw materials, but their origin and quality which matters.
Bledar Kola left Tirana for London all by himself at the age of 15, where he started as a dishwasher, then learned how to cook. When he returned home, he was lost without goose liver and French wines, then went on to study at Noma and Fäviken, where he found there was more to cooking. His restaurant, Mullixhiu, opened two years ago and mixes Albanian Balkan food with Italian and uses local products. His tastings menus are under 30 euros, so everyone can try them. He also purchased a food truck to teach young children how to make healthy meals. He will hold a presentation on the gastro stage.