Spago by Wolfgang Puck Budapest Appoints István Szántó as Head Chef

  • 9 Jun 2021 3:09 PM
Spago by Wolfgang Puck Budapest Appoints István Szántó as Head Chef
The world-famous master chef, Wolfgang Puck, known for his bold, innovative culinary style, is debuting in Central Europe at the Matild Palace with 3 unique dining concepts: the first European Spago restaurant and an exclusive rooftop liquor library, The Duchess in early summer, and Matild Café & Cabaret in September 2021.

The star chef has been looking for the ideal leader for the soon-to-open Spago restaurant's culinary team for several months.

Wolfgang Puck assessed the creativity and aptitude of the applying local chefs during several rounds of interviews and personal meetings. He was looking for a candidate who, not only with his experience and technical knowledge but also with his special personality and knowledge of local producers and suppliers, would greatly contribute to the first European Spago guest experience.

Finding the ideal candidate is never easy, as, in addition to professional expectations, the personality of the chefs is also a very important aspect. I would like the future guests of Spago Budapest to find their new home in the beautiful building of Matild Palace. A high level of professional knowledge is not enough, as the ability to create a family atmosphere is also essential. The other important aspect was to find a professional who could authentically represent the spirit of Spago,” said Wolfgang Puck.

István Szántó, who is responsible for the gastronomic management of Spago, learned the basics of the profession in France. He has also benefited from his more than 15 years of professional culinary experience in foreign and Hungarian Michelin-starred restaurants such as Costes Downtown.

“It is a great honor for me, and I was happy to accept this opportunity as the interviews revealed that Spago’s concept fits perfectly with my vision of hospitality. Our common goal during the work is to create a family environment, support local producers, and interact with the guests. A special motivation for me that as a member of an international team - which has been successful for decades - I can represent in Hungary the spirit that Wolfgang Puck has built.

The mix of different gastronomic styles - Far Eastern, Mediterranean, Austrian and Hungarian - will make the place very exciting, and where, in addition to the emblematic Spago dishes, our guests will also find traditional dishes evoking the past” said István Szántó.
The culinary team of Spago Budapest, operating under the direction of István Szántó, will have the task of enriching Spago's international offer with Hungarian flavors and culture, and maintaining the interest of local and foreign guests, providing experiences that are worth returning to from time to time.

About Matild Palace

Opening in early Summer 2021, Matild Palace is joining The Luxury Collection, Marriott Bonvoy’s celebrated brand, and it is anticipated to be the brand’s 120th hotel opening.

Commissioned by the forward-thinking Arch Duchess of Austria and completed in 1902, the Palace offers a distinctive ambiance representative of its Hungarian heritage, which runs beautifully through its core and is unmistakable from the moment guests step in through the front doors.  

The property has undergone an extensive renovation and restoration by award-winning MKV Design, which celebrates a charming, contemporary style with a nod to the property’s past narrative.  

Today, the hotel is committed to inspiring guests with its rich history, culture, and epicurean excellence. This iconic palace, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, will offer 111 guestrooms and 19 suites. The property also comes complete with an exclusive rooftop liqueur garden with magnificent views of the city, a Hungarian thermal bath inspired spa, and three unique dining concepts created through a culinary partnership with world-renowned chef, Wolfgang Puck.  

Located in the heart of Budapest and just a stone’s throw from the Danube, Matild Palace combines luxurious surroundings with authentic experiences and serves as the most spectacular gateway to exploring the magic of Budapest. 

About Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group 

The name Wolfgang Puck is synonymous with the best of restaurant hospitality and the ultimate in all aspects of the culinary arts.

The famed chef has built a brand that encompasses three companies:
Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, consisting of 25 owned, operated, and licensed fine dining restaurants across 12 cities in 6 countries; Wolfgang Puck World Wide which has a portfolio of 79 casual and fast-casual restaurants, as well as branded consumer products; and Wolfgang Puck Catering which is the catering service business which operates as a subsidiary of Compass Group.

Wolfgang Puck’s brand carries an undeniable cachet, synonymous with a bold, innovative style of cooking that has redefined the fine dining industry. His trademark dishes, coupled with his unmistakable panache and personality, has revolutionized the culinary trade.
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