TASTE HUNGARY was founded in 2008 by Carolyn and Gábor Bánfalvi. They have been visiting Hungarian wineries since the late 1990s, following the exciting developments in the industry. After spending years researching and writing Carolyn’s culinary guidebooks to Hungary, they wanted to share their valuable rolodex of personal connections, sources, favorite wineries, and great restaurants. The concept of Taste Hungary was born when Carolyn and Gábor decided to turn their passion for Hungarian food and wine into an outlet for introducing travelers to the authentic tastes and flavors of Hungary. Carolyn and Gábor have two girls and a baby boy, who (luckily) love tagging long with their parents on their research trips throughout Hungary and Central Europe.
Carolyn Bánfalvi grew up in Washington DC and moved to Budapest in 1999 . She is a freelance journalist and the author of the award-winning culinary guidebooks Food Wine Budapest (Little Bookroom) and the Food and Wine Lover’s Guide to Hungary: With Budapest Restaurants and Trips to the Wine Country (Park kiadó). She is also the author of the iphone/ipad travel app, The Budapest Insider’s Guide. She has written for dozens of international magazines and newspapers including Saveur, Afar, Gourmet.com, Gastronomica, Olive, and The Globe & Mail. She has a degree in professional cooking and baking from a US culinary school. Visit her web site to read some of her articles.
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Gábor Bánfalvi grew up in a food-obsessed family in a village in northwestern Hungary, learning how to cook from his mother. But it wasn’t until he spent a few years living outside of Hungary—which included time exploring France, studying in Spain, working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, and tending bar and waiting on tables in New York—that he realized how spectacular and underrated his native Hungarian cuisine is. Gábor holds a Master’s Degree in Spanish linguistics and literature and has extensive translating and interpreting experience. He holds an advanced level certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and is a certified tour guide in Hungary.
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Virág Lastóczki grew up in the magical Tokaj region. She believes it was fate that led her to a job at a winery there, where the passionate winemakers inspired the next phase of her life—studying at the University of Viticulture and Enology in Budapest beginning in the fall. The deeper she immerses herself in the intricacies of Tokaj, the more she considers it her mission to contribute to the renaissance of the region and to helping restore its former prestige. When she is not studying the wines of Tokaj, Virág likes to cook and bake. She speaks English, Spanish, and Italian.
Judit Szöllősi grew up in a small town in southeastern Hungary eating traditional dishes made by her grandmother, a professional cook. Though her love for food started there, it later evolved to an international level. Judit frequently travels, mainly to discover the different tastes of the world, and she has lived in Denmark, Spain, and France. In France she even created a blog about French cheese. She speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French and studied Spanish Literature and Linguistics. She also works as a tour guide at the Hungarian Opera House.