Budapest Agency – in association with the Norwegian Embassy, Szamos Chocolatier, and fjordin – has put together a one-of-a-kind, eight-course dinner spearheaded by the masterful creations of the Flying Culinary Circus’ rock and roll chefs. The event – which took place on 9 March at the elegantly old-fashioned Szamos Gourmet Palace – was much more than a prestigious meal centered around the fusion dishes of Hungarian cuisine and Norwegian seafood, since the primary aim was to fundraise for Zsuzsa Kossuth Children’s Home (Kossuth Zsuzsa Gyermekotthon).
The ingredients of a good cause
The founders of Budapest Agency – who also happen to be the owners of online brands such as budapest.no -, namely Ronny Karlsen and Viktória Csonka Karlsen, must be natural-born miracle workers, because it only took them a week to put their latest and bravest idea into practice. Taking advantage of the world-renownedFlying Culinary Circus’ presence and their deeply-rooted Norwegian connections, the do-it-all couple conjured a wondrous event with a noble cause basically out of thin air. It was evident from the get-go that they’ll raise money for Zsuzsa Kossuth Children’s Home (Kossuth Zsuzsa Gyermekotthon); Budapest Agency has been supporting this good-willed institution providing out-of-home care for children in various ways for over seven years.
Besides prestigious guests from the Norwegian Embassy, widely-respected Hungarian chefs, and the business partners of Budapest Agency, Róbert Lakatos, one of the best students of Zsuzsa Kossuth Children’s Home, some of his teachers, and the institution’s director were also present.
Travel, cooking, rock and roll
Now let’s take an en exhausting look at the evening’s main attraction, the Flying Culinary Circus. The four-membered – Trond Svendgård, Hans Kristian Larsen, Mathias Spieler Bugge, and Tor Jørgen Kramprud Arnesen -, globe-roaming supergroup was founded in 2005, when the quartet of youthful chefs first cooked together in Central Park, New York City for the Norwegian Embassy. Since then, they’ve visited 44 countries and have cooked for royal families in Norway, Denmark, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates, and last, not least, for celebrities such as The Black Eyed Peas, Guns’n Roses, Ke$ha, and we could go on until we run out of space. Each chef specializes in a different field of gastronomy: Trond is a fish and seafood expert, Hans Krisitan is a meat maestro, Mathias prepares soups and sauces, while Tor knows it all about herbs and vegetables.
Although the FCC’s plane only landed a couple of hours before the dinner – due to a rare malfunction in the Norwegian Air Traffic Control System – , and they had to work their magic using a ready-made pack of nonetheless grade-A ingredients, the dinner was absolutely flawless from the appetizer to the very last course.
Without further ado, here’s the menu from A to Z: Salmon sashimi with ponzu sauce and apple wasabi sorbet; Smoked mackerel cream with apples, croutons and herb oil; Creamed scampi soup with Hungarian sausages; Scallops with parmesan and truffle cream; Blue mussel and Jerusalem artichoke soup; Cod with butter sauce cabbage and Hungarian sausages; Duck breast with foie gras, cabbage, parsnip cream, mango and passion fruit sauce; Venison with parsley root cream and blueberry demi-glace.
Give to receive
Needless to say, it was a once-in-a-lifetime gastro-experience, which made it extremely difficult to grade the chefs’ performance on a 1 to 10 scale; if we had followed our hearts, we would have rained the voting papers with tens. The voting was only a manifestation of the playful in-house rivalry between the down-to-earth Flying quartet; in the end, Hans Kristian, the meat maestro came out on top by a mile, and was ceremonially awarded with the Best FCC Hungarian Chef Ever trophy. The dinner’s fundraising mission was also accomplished, so, all in all, Budapest Agency’s vision was wholly realized, and served both as an exceptional gastro-adventure and as a proof for the cliché which states that those who give will receive.