Costes Restaurant is the first fine dining establishment to be awarded a Michelin Star in Hungary. Eszter Palagyi, Head Chef, was the youngest female Chef in Central Europe to win this prestigious accolade
Jamie Ndah met up with her to talk about her meteoric rise in the fine dining world, exotic travel destinations, the Sziget Festival, DJ David Guetta, and what the future holds for this gifted modern day culinary artist.
LM: When did you know you wanted to become a chef?
EP: For as long as I can remember, I have been cooking with my father and my family together at home. It was the third skill I learnt after walking and talking. By the time I had reached 18 years of age, I realised that I would like to become a chef, and this is what I have now decided I want to do for the rest of my life.
LM: Where did you study?
EP: I graduated from the cooking school in Budapest, Hungary.
LM: Where was your first job?
EP: I started my career in Hilton Budapest during the foundation years of my cooking school. After that, I continued my culinary education and experience at the award-winning, two Rosette, luxurious Mount Falcon and Restaurant based in Ireland.
LM: What’s your personal definition of luxury?
EP: My personal definition of luxury is something that provides pleasure, comfort and sumptuous living.
LM: What luxury item could you not live without?
EP: That’s an easy question for me. Obviously, I couldn’t live without my smartphone!
LM: You were crowned Hungary’s Chef of the Year. How did that make you feel?
EP: I was taken a back as I wasn’t expecting it at all. I had moved back to Hungary for almost two years, and in that time I had only been working in Costes Restaurant for six months before the nomination. Overall, I was very happy and surprised.
LM: Tell our Luxurious Magazine readers what they can expect on the menu at Costes
EP: The first impression when entering the restaurant is a beautiful, quiet, luxury eatery coupled with a charming ambience. At Costes Restaurant, we only present the finest ingredients from Hungary and France. We also serve a variety of traditional Hungarian dishes on the menu depending upon the season. Our ultimate aim is to deliver a premium fine dining experience for all our guests ensuring the highest quality of service.
LM: Costes Restaurant was the first restaurant in Hungary to be awarded its first Michelin star. How did you celebrate?
EP: The restaurant received its first Michelin star in 2010. I have been working at Costes Restaurant since 2013. Therefore, I can only talk about my own personal time at Costes Restaurant which includes receiving the Michelin star in March 2016.
I was very happy and excited to be able to maintain the Michelin star for the restaurant because Costes Restaurant has already been on a long journey involving a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication to get them to where they are today. When I found out that we had maintained the Michelin star, myself and the team opened a delightful bottle of French Sir Winston Churchill Pol Roger 2002 champagne to celebrate our fantastic achievement.