Our trip to Hungary last year was one of the most rewarding food travel experiences I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot of them over the last thirty years. Gábor and Carolyn took care of literally every detail—the planning was great, the timing was good, and the food was excellent. We were introduced to the people who make the food, had a chance to experience production kitchens and personalities that we’d never have seen on our own. Throughout Gábor’s positive energy, caring attention to detail, good humor and ability to adapt when needed in the moment added up to make it a very special and productive trip. I would very highly recommend Taste Hungary to anyone who loves food and travel and wants to experience Hungarian cuisine and culture at a level far deeper than the average tourist will ever encounter.
—Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, author of Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating
Gabor and Carolyn have designed and hosted three custom group tours for my business. Each one has been a well-organized inspiring food adventure. Every day was packed with food exploration and learning. We’ve enjoyed unique experiences from baking with fifth-generation Budapest bakers to participating in a family’s pig slaughter in Transylvania. These are experiences we could not have arranged on our own.
—Amy Emberling, Managing Partner, Zingerman’s Bakehouse
Thank you so much for the copy of your food and wine book! It was enormously helpful on the trip, and it’s been indispensable in translating my rather cryptic notes from our various visits. My only regret is that I didn’t have you sign my copy! Thank you also for putting together a fantastic itinerary for the week. I am deeply impressed with the food of Hungary and loved meeting the many remarkable cooks, bakers, chefs and business people bringing their passions and energies to the table. I hope it will be the first of many trips to that part of the world. I tried my hand at lecso last night and while it was quite good, it did not match the many versions that we tasted while in Hungary. I think I used too many onions and probably not enough lard! Do you know if most cooks simmer the lesco with the lid on or off? I did it with the lid on for the first hour, then off to finish. I suppose it could be made in the oven, too. I’ll keep working on it! In the meantime, good luck with all your ventures. It was a real pleasure to meet both you and Gabor. I have no doubt that Taste Hungary will continue to be a huge success!
—Molly Stevens, James Beard award-winning cookbook author and cooking teacher
I wanted to thank both of you for such over the top experiences for both myself, and Tina and her students. I can not begin to describe how much the students enjoyed their time with you Carolyn. During the week I was there, I heard them talking over and over about places for lunch they had gone to based on your suggestions. They obviously loved the Strudel House and it was fun for me to see the strudel stretching the last evening during their closing banquet. Thank you so much for all you did for them. It was a highlight of the month for them. As for myself, I don’t even know where to begin. My day with Gabor was so beyond what I had expected that I was somewhat overwhelmed! The museum and research center were really great to see. I will admit that the cold was almost paralyzing and if I ever come in warmer weather I would want to go again!!! I had a hard time concentrating because it was so cold. The museum is a treasure, a beekeepers dream come true with tremendous historical context which was very very interesting. I enjoyed meeting the individuals in the research area although it seemed that the language barrier was a little more difficult. Learning about the way Hungary manages Queen breeders was very interesting! The visit to the private beekeeper was also very very interesting and again overwhelming. I was not prepared for that visit. He was so very generous with his time and I appreciated the visit a great deal. This tour is really a beekeepers dream and I would think any beekeeper coming to Hungary would enjoy this tour. You did a really nice job putting it all together.
Yesterday was great!! Dora was a wonderful guide – tour was fascinating and delicious! Dora was also so informative and very interesting to talk with.
Judit was marvelous….had a stupendous time ….loved the wineries….so warm and enthusiastic…see a very great future. Thank you.
What a nice day!!!! We enjoyed the day so much. Your guide was very personable and the tour was very special. Truthfully, it has been the highlight of our visit. I think I would add a note not to eat much breakfast before coming on the website. We were glad we had not filled up!!! Unicum on the first stop was a little tough to begin the day but other than that the food and drink selection was superb!!!
—Ray and Gail, USA
Thanks for the cruise. It was really great. Everybody appreciated. Wine was from good to really good! Gabor and Barbara were super nice.
Gabor, as promised, attached is a pic of our friends in London. Everyone loved the Hungarian wine and cheese that we brought with us to the party. Again, thank you for a great day in Eger. We have told everyone how great it is and hope some will be booking a day with you soon. Did the couple from California we mentioned from the train contact you? Hope so!
—Daniel, New York
I would like to express my thank you to both of you for inviting NAWA members on that wonderful culinary tour. I enjoy myself immensely and learned some new things about Budapest. Gabor, you are wonderful tour guide indeed.
Hello! We’ve returned from our trip, and wanted to say THANK YOU for a really wonderful and memorable day. Gabor was fantastic, and Drue & I were both very, very happy with the tours, information, and the company & discussions. (In addition, we used your website throughout the remainder of our trip and found some really exciting and wonderful restaurants, so thank you for that as well!)
Our day with Gabor was absolutely wonderful. I’m sure he thought we were awfully quiet for a group of 6 ladies. Not only were we very tired after 10 days of touring and running to a schedule (not to mention drinking an awful lot of wine) – but 4 of the 6 of us had come down with nasty colds in the last days of the cruise! We weren’t exactly the best and liveliest of customers!! All that aside – everyone agreed that it was a great way to end our trip – it was relaxing (which we needed) and informative. We got to see a lot more than the typical city tour provided by the big companies. The hostess at the first family winery we visited was especially endearing, the food was terrific and we thoroughly enjoyed being treated almost like family members!
I just wanted to thank you and of course Gabor again for a great tour in Tokaj and the guidebook. I wanted to send a proper thank you before my departure but had trouble with the internet on my phone. I’m happily looking at the two Tokaj purchases I made at the Hudácskó Pincészet. Those two are going to be kept in my humble cellar until I find someone who’d really appreciate Tokaj wines with me.
—Yvette, New York
Excerpt from the NAWA (North American Women’s Association) newsletter: On November 20th, a chilly Friday evening, several NAWA members and our spouses and friends enjoyed a wonderful evening experiencing Hungary’s pálinka renaissance with Taste Hungary. The event was held at the Első Pesti Rétesház (First Strudel House Restaurant), an enchanting venue filled with traditional décor and wonderful old photos of the owner’s family. We began the evening with a fun informative movie on the art and history of strudel making followed by an up-close demonstration. We were all invited to take part in the strudel making process and were amazed at the abilities of the chef. Next, we moved on to a delicious five-course dinner which featured Hungarian flavors paired with artisan pálinka provided by the Zsindelyes Distillery, a family-owned distillery located in the northeastern town of Érpatak. A representative from the distillery was on hand to introduce each pálinka and discuss the production process, culture behind it and its important role in Hungary’s culture. The food was exceptional with my personal favorite being the the cabbage strudel with sour cream and chive sauce. The pálinka was strong and some of us had more difficulties than others actually getting it down without! a grimace. By the end of the evening, our appetites and thirst were sated, our knowledge of pálinka had grown exponentially and we all went home nice and toasty!
—NAWA (North American Women’s Association)
Thank you very much for organizing and making this trip such a wonderful experience we will cherish this moment in Tokaj for a lifetime.
We really enjoyed our tour with Gabor. It was the best way possible to spend a dreary day. Thanks so much for organizing it for us…We all plan to recommend you to anyone we know who’s planning a trip to Hungary…
Visiting with you Carolyn and briefly with your family was a real highlight for me. Thank you very much for introducing us to the unique and delicious wines that we tasted from Somló as well as sharing the wonderful meal at Bock. … Carolyn’s book is a great way to revisit the trip and Budapest, we all greatly appreciated it and will be much better prepared for Budapest upon our return…
I just wanted to drop you a line and say THANK YOU for making our Budapest trip truly amazing. You really showed us the charm and unseen beauty of the country….I cant wait to come back and explore some more…We are telling all our friends about the trip and I wouldn’t be surprised if you got a few more visitors from Southern California!
Thank you both for such a fantastic tour! The students so enjoyed both wineries and loved the commentary, history, and entire experience. You two run a very special service and I wish you all the best as it continues to expand! Thank you also for the lovely tour book. It is so well written and I love the accessibility and gorgeous pictures and drawings. I look forward to using it more as we continue our stay here for the next week.
The trip was marvelous. Thank you and your husband for the opportunity to get more knowledge on such lovely place as Tokaj is.
Thanks for a nice evening yesterday. Gabor did a good job :) The food and wine was perfect. Maybe a bit too much of both, but that is not your fault :) I will bring my recommendations to you guys back to Norway.
Thank you for being the perfect hosts yesterday for the wine tour. Loved it! I am pretty much wined-out, but it was really nice tasting the three different vineyards and seeing the difference between them. I will definitely pass on how much fun it is to anyone that is interested in a wine tour!
I learned many things on the market tour that I plan to utilize on my next Budapest visit. I am also grateful for The Food and Wine Lover’s Guide. It is a very generous gift. By the way, I’ve also ordered two of the Food Wine Budapest books, from Amazon. I have a friend who happens to be very angry that I missed the Tokaj wine tour. She is taking a wine course & wanted to pick my brain. I think that I copy of Food Wine Budapest may just get me off the hook. :-) I will definitely contact you on my return!
Gabor is wonderful! Thank him for all of his knowledge and courtesy, our day with him was a trip highlight. Best to you and your family in the New Year!
—Nancy, New York