Hungarian chef among the world's top 100 chefs for first time

November 21. 2023. – 01:20 PM

Hungarian chef among the world's top 100 chefs for first time
Szilárd Tóth, chef at Budapest's Salt – Photo: Péter Mondovics / Telex


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Szilárd Tóth, the chef of Budapest's Salt restaurant has been ranked 93rd on the list of the 100 best chefs in the world, The Best Chef 2023. The ranking of this year's best chefs was announced late Monday night at a professional forum in Mexico City.

The Michelin Guide is no longer the most authoritative list of the best gastronomy has to offer: the list of the world's top 50 restaurants, or the world's 100 best chefs are just some of the new rankings, with more and more lists evaluating the most important professionals in the world of gastronomy. The Best Chef Award has been around since 2017, but Hungarian chefs have so far only made it as far as being nominated, with Ákos Sárközi and Ádám Mészáros nominated in 2020 and Szilárd Tóth nominated last year. However, this year marks the first time that a Hungarian chef actually made it among the best 100.

The vote for The Best Chef is a two-stage process. First, each year 100 new chefs are nominated by culinary professionals, critics and photographers. Then, voters can cast their votes, choosing from those who were in the top 100 the previous year as well as the new nominees. Those entitled to vote are: experts from The Best Chef, the best chefs of the previous year and the new nominees (who, of course, cannot vote for themselves). This is how the annual top 100 list is created from the total of 200 nominees. The industry looks at both the chefs' creativity and the work of the team they work with.

The Best Chef Award aims to establish a connection between the best chefs from around the world, and the award ceremony is usually held as part of a series of professional events lasting several days.

This year, Dabiz Muñoz, the chef at Madrid's DiverXO restaurant was chosen as the world's Best Chef. René Redzepi, Chef de Cuisine at Noma, which was the world's best restaurant for many years, came fourth, while Ana Roš of Hiša Franko in Slovenia ranked third. Heston Blumenthal is 49th on the list. Interestingly, the line-up is full of Spanish, French and Scandinavian chefs, with very few Americans and Asians included.

We interviewed Szilárd Tóth and Máté Boldizsár two years ago, and this is how they summed up the essence of their work:

“We wanted to create a type of cosy fine dining experience where the guest doesn't simply eat well, but they feel comfortable, and are able to surrender to the moment. And if at the same time we are also enjoying ourselves, then a healthy symbiosis can form between us.”

"As well as innovation, our roots are also very important for us, and that's what we are building on. We don't reinvent, we build. We have to integrate the already established foods into our mindset and present them with the appropriate knowledge. We don't have to invent goulash soup, it's already there. Regional gastronomy has much greater potential, it is more diverse, more varied, and there is a lot that even we Hungarians don't know about. And foreigners don't need to be shown paprika chicken, because they are already familiar with it, we should show them other elements of Hungarian cuisine instead."

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