Paprika, bread heels and beer will inspire the chefs at the annual OTP Bank Gourmet Festival this year. As in the two previous years, the organisers have announced themes based on which the teams of more than 50 exhibiting restaurants can fire their imaginations. Of course, they will also bring their favourites from their restaurants' traditional offer, complemented by courses invented especially for the festival.

# Lee Jong Kuk from Seoul will bring his sauces and marinades

Chief organiser Richárd Nemes says: "Besides introducing the best of domestic gastronomy we are striving to increase the quality of the international line-up each year, and this year the visitors will be able to see the strongest one so far. We are looking not only for quality, but also that the invited restaurants have good concepts and their chefs have a good story and an exciting personality, since these are the ingredients for an unforgettable gastronomy experience."

How does the bread heel get on the table, we might ask? The answer is given by festival host Zsófi Mautner: "Bread has a sacral, symbolic meaning in gastronomy, and zero-waste cooking is a relevant and interesting topic for us. All of this makes dry breads an exciting ingredient."

"Bread heels have a cult throughout traditional Hungarian cooking to Italian and French cuisine. There are many examples for their use in national kitchens: panko is one of them, for instance. We continue with stuffed breads and modern brown-bread ice-cream – we believe that chefs will be inspired by this topic."

Festival co-host András Jókuti adds: "We thought that paprika was important among other things, since this is something we are known for all around the world. Meanwhile this ingredient has a somewhat 'musty image': we did not work on it yet in order to toss it up, to renovate it and show to the world that lamb stew and goulash soup are not the only reasons why Hungary is worth visiting."

# Max Stiegl, is known as the reinventor of Burgenland kitchen

The third theme is beer, which will not only appear as a possible ingredient for marinades, ragouts and sauces, but will also have a prominent role among the exhibitors. The best Hungarian craft beers will be tapped besides the Belgian and Czech classics.

Most exciting international cast so far

Numerous excellent domestic and foreign chefs will present exclusive dinners at this largest Central-European event for gastronomy fans. Konstantin Filippou from Vienna, who has already been awarded two stars, fuses Austrian and Mediterranean cuisine and will bring his fused flavour along with his informal style. Lee Jong Kuk from Seoul with one star will bring his sauces and marinades matured for decades. Ivan and Sergey Berezutskij, the twin chefs of the Moscow Twins Garden restaurant, will bring numerous creatively prepared ingredients from their vast home country to Millenáris.


# Ivan and Sergey, the twin chefs of the Moscow Twins Garden restaurant, and their garden salad will also be at Gourmet Festival

Ferrari, known as the best Italian champagne producer, is also visiting Millenáris. Their selected items will be accompanied by a memorable lunch menu prepared by the chefs of Stand restaurant, just elected Hungary's best, namely Tamás Széll and Szabina Szulló. The Albanian Bledar Kola will present himself on the stage. He gathered his inspiration at the Noma restaurant of Copenhagen – considered one of the best restaurants in the world – to rephrase his home-country traditions, which are from both the Balkans and the Mediterranean. Max Stiegl, who reinvents Burgenland kitchen in his restaurant beside Lake Fertő, near Sopron, using giblets and steam dumplings, will be there too.

Pay comfortably with your smartphone

Gourmet Festival offers the best not only in terms of gastronomy but also strives to make the services as simple and comfortable for visitors as possible, including payment. The festival's naming sponsor, OTP Bank, will be there again to help. Zoltán Péter Nagy, OTP Bank's marketing and communication director, explains: "Besides one-touch cards visitors will also be able to pay with their smartphones thanks to the Simple application at the event or from any merchant's selection. For fast payment you only need to digitalise your bankcard in the application, and you can already enjoy the option of comfortable mobile payment."

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