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Hungary - Péter Bárándy

Bailliage of Hungary
Budapest, May 30, 2024

Personal thoughts from life's journey
" The Chaîne's dining events certainly mean something different in every region of the world "

Through my life I have held countless “important” positions. I have been a child, tried to grow up - by the way I succeeded. A barrister and university lecturer, I have been a chief in the Bar Association, a Minister of Justice. I am a hunter and officer of the Hunters’ National Chamber. I have completed my studies.

However, I am speaking of something else.

I have been a Chaîne member since 1989, first as a Chevalier and then from 2022 a Grand Officier, later an ambassador of the Bailliage of Hungary. The events of the Chaîne did not come as a surprise for me as fortunately I was born into a family where food was not only used to quench hunger, not just to consume the food. It still isn’t. I have learnt the rule of what, how and with whom.

I was interested in how modern gastronomy evolved from a different kind of degree and by varying causes with the constant presence of starvation in the Middle Ages. How did globalized, international, enjoyable cuisine appear in Italian monarchies? Then in the 16th century in the French court and spread through the European aristocracy? How did this “artistic phenomenon” combine with the result of the ingenuity of common people? How does pasta, pizza or hamburger become more sophisticated? How does the imagination of master chefs fill the everyday lives of more interested layers of society? Maybe because of fashion or maybe curiosity.

In 2012, with two of my adult children and a couple of friends, we decided to start at Chefs’ school. In almost a year, we got to know only the basics of the profession. What helped us and our teachers through the difficulties of the school was that we had met good food many times. We didn’t have to realize with great difficulty whether the raw material is worthy of a better fate in our hands. Thus, I became a professional member of the “friendly dining clubs”.

The Chaîne’s dining events certainly mean something different in every region of the world. The Confrérie arrived in Hungary at the same time as regime change namely the disintegration of the Soviet bloc.

It was good to live through this. It is also nice, even today, with a fresh memory of a Chaîne feast, at the end (some may think outdated) with a Cohiba between our fingers and say: I’ll have a ristretto, while other members add … and a Calvados.

Vive la Chaîne!

Péter Bárándy
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