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When chefs take over a beach food stand – Chef Beach

Wine & Gastronomy - Articles

Friday, August 28, 2015 — László Tucsni

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

The first time we got interested in Chef Beach was when one of our readers commented on one of our articles, asking us why we hadn’t checked it out yet. We went to their Facebook page and saw about 30 five-star reviews, which means either the guys gave many of their friends free burgers in exchange for positive reviews or something special is indeed in the works. We can’t confirm the first scenario because we didn’t get any free hamburgers ourselves, so we are more inclined to believe the second one. Here’s our very own five-star review.

Chef Beach

8621 Zamárdi, Gáspár András utca 46.

When you look at the building, you really don’t see anything more than a regular beach food stand, but even before you join the queue, you inevitably spot the Chef Beach sign, which raises your expectations, and not just a little bit.

The owner used to work at a four-star hotel in the north of Italy, while the chef spent eight years at Alabárdos Restaurant, leaving his former place of employment as sous-chef, which is quite an impressive letter of recommendation.

“I purchased the premises last January, so this summer was our second. My aim is to turn it into an exclusive food stand with professional kitchen technologies, meaning that we’ll banish microwaves for good. The best feedback we got this year was that the eatery was packed even in rainy weather. I have a five-year plan in my head, and we’ll see how far it gets us,” – owner Márton told us.

Where they are right now is they serve the indispensible lángos and they’ve recently started making hamburgers with home-made buns and beef they grind and season themselves. The menu now also includes a Bolognese pasta dish made from a recipe the owner has brought home with him from Italy. It will cost around 2,000 HUF, but to make it worth your while, they’ll use beef confit and mix red wine into the sauce.

This place is different from your average beach food stand in many regards: for example, they have waiters serving your food, and they also make their own fries to go with their frozen burgers. The frozen version has been kept on the menu because of the “McDonald’s reflex”: according to the owner, a lot of kids will not eat anything else because that’s what they’re used to.

Over the summer they’ve expanded their selection with new dishes you’d expect to find at any restaurant: they’ve played around with everything from pork roast to squash stew, with túrós csusza (a Hungarian dish made with cottage cheese and noodles) being one of their major hits – they even entered it into the beach food competition of Balatoni Kör and We Love Balaton.

They agree with others in the Balaton catering business in that good ingredients are hard to find in the area, so they buy lots of things in Kiskunhalas. This season was pretty successful, which the whole team will celebrate in Croatia next week, so from now on they’ll only be open for weekends. The same goes for September: if the weather is nice, they’ll fire up the grill on Saturday and Sunday.

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