“ The love of tradition also carries the love of the future.”
The motto borrowed from the renowned Italian writer is very close to the philosophy represented by Kistücsök. Nearly three decades since I have taken over the restaurant as a youngster at the age of my twenties . I had ideas, plans and dreams – although at the beginning, I was not yet able to define the goals, not even the way to achieve them.
The gastronomic and business awareness with which I now run the restaurant is originated from a cosmopolitan guest with whom I have since developed a close friendship and I am really grateful for this. Thanks to his stories, I became increasingly interested in what was happening in the gastronomic world abroad.
We talked a lot, and later organized culinary study trips for ourselves. The world has opened before me. And thanks to my experiences and international examples, I began to get more clear idea of the values I wanted to pass on to my guests and the profession. My wife and my son; my chef, László Jahni; my sister Katalin Csapody “Hugi” and her sons, and the whole restaurant team have played a very important role in realizing this vision – I dare to use such big words, given the circumstances at the time. Without them we would not be here today. Plural indeed, because everything that is Kistücsök today, we have achieved together, as a team.
And I am sure we are on the right track. The honor of being named one of the best restaurants in the country, being selected as the Restaurant Owner of the Year in 2010, being a Gundel Award winner, and all the other smaller but equally precious awards and accolades that are dear to my heart, all confirm and strengthen this. But there is one thing that is even more important: the regulars. The regulars who have been coming back regularly for many years and who warmly recommend us to their friends on their way to Lake Balaton. I would not exchange their recognition for any honor of the year.
And what is this vision for which we still get up every day and work for, because we believe in it, because we believe it is worth working for?
Through our food and our wines, we want to tell the story of our region, our Lake Balaton. We find it crucial to respect local traditions and commodities, since these are the roots that nurture us, but we also want to keep up with the demands of the new era and changes, and to combine the two by presenting familiar flavors in new packaging – this has become one of our goals.
On the other hand, we also think it is important to understand and explain what we do, so we try to get involved in the national gastronomic scene. We encourage the use of our region’s raw materials, and we foster close relationships of trust with local producers, fishermen and winemakers.
We also see it as our task to bring them all together and thus help to put wine and food culture on the map here at home.
My old self has not disappeared either: travel still plays an important role in my life. In the winter, when the restaurant is more quiet, or just when I need to recharge my batteries, I get up with my wife and son, Bence to soak up the art of Mediterranean hospitality, even for a day or two. Most often we visit northern Italy, which is just a few hours away. I pick up Walter Filiputti’s The Path of Flavours – A Gastronomic Journey through the Italian Friuli and we look for our next destination. We travel to the village, sit in the main square, taste their wines, hams, and cheeses, and while the family enjoys the flavors, I chat to the local restaurant owners. I am impressed by the Italian people’s love of life, their directness and at last, but not least the natural atmosphere of their restaurants.
Today, my biggest dream is to incorporate the lifestyle and gastronomic culture I experienced there into the daily operation of Kistücsök. I would like to bring a little bit of home feeling to our guests. That is why we have taken another big step in the life of the restaurant: by 2021, we will have a four-star hotel with 19 rooms and 2 suites for those who want to experience a little more than just a few good dishes from Lake Balaton.
We’ve created a very exciting room, the Chef’s Room, where we prepare the meals in an open kitchen, while chatting with the chefs about the ingredients, the preparation of the dishes, their harmony with the wines – in short, the beauty of gastronomy.
We have opened Kistücsök DELI as well, our delicatessen shop where, in addition to our own branded products, we also offer the goods of the best suppliers in the area, so that guests can take a little of the Kistücsök experience with themselves when they leave.
With our expanded services, the restaurant has also been given a new name: KISTÜCSÖK FOOD & ROOM**** is now suitable for a few days stay, with all the excitement of local activities and the area. Eat, drink, and relax with us! We look forward to welcoming you all year round, here at Kistücsök!
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