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Budapest’s newly crowned Michelin-starred restaurants react to the news

With the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Budapest recently upped by two to total seven, the celebrating owners of Essência and SALT have shared their reaction to the good news.

Run by a husband-and-wife team from Portugal and Hungary, the Essência Restaurant Tiago & Éva harmonises the cuisines of both nations. SALT Budapest, while Scandinavian in style, showcases the best of rural Hungary on a plate.

At Essência, Éva Sabarigo-Jenei saw the award as recognition after such a turbulent time of ups and downs: "Last year, the euphoria of opening was soon replaced by a sense of frustration caused by forced closure and a period of struggle for survival. The crowning of the culmination of this emotional roller coaster – the secretly hoped-for Michelin star – has been a huge pleasure for us, and it is also a serious feedback for head chef Tiagó for his work and his international status”.

Szilárd Tóth of SALT Budapest understood the responsibility that comes with any Michelin star: "The initial shock and intoxication was immediately replaced by a complex sense of responsibility and the planning of another quality step, as we continue to believe in honest work, as opposed to the hunt for a Michelin star for its own sake".

"The Hungarian audience has always been the primary target of ours,"  explained Szilárd, "but it seems that foreigners interested in contemporary Hungarian gastronomy also understand our concept, rooted in the recognition of how diverse Hungarian cuisine is and how much potential it still holds. We are delighted and we will keep striving to provide quality!

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