We are experts in the field of wine and gastronomy and come from Central Eastern Europe. We are Hungarians. Or are we?
When a few years ago, one of our grandparents died, I inherited an old sofa, made 150 years ago by a Transylvanian Romanian carpenter for a family of Slovakian and German origin. We have chosen this sofa as our means of expression. One the one hand, you can sit on it and taste wine in comfort, on the other, this piece of furniture’s history is also a bit of our history, that is Central Eastern European history. If we take a look at our family tree, we are also Slovakians from Liptovský Mikuláš and Stupava; we are Romanians from Huedin; we are Ukrainians from Mukacheve and Berehove. We are Jewish from all over the place, as well as, of course, Austrians from Lutzmannburg, Germans from Frankfurt, Danube Swabians from Bonnya, gypsies from the dusty road, and Saxons from Cluj and Bratislava. One great-grandfather was from Fiume, now Rijeka, and the other was born in Nis, Serbia, to a wealthy merchant family. Turks settled in Eger several centuries ago; we fought for the Austro-Hungarian multicultural army on both the eastern and western fronts. At the bottom of drawers, gathering dust, there is family correspondence written in Hungarian, Romanian, Slovakian, Croatian and Latin. Our Turkish ancestors burned the Serbian letters, our Romanian ancestors moved because of the Hungarians and the Germans crushed our Hungarian ancestors. We love the mountains and the sea, good food and Central Eastern Europe’s diverse and wonderful wines.
We taste, photograph and document everything; we travel in these countries as if we were at home; and perhaps we are indeed at home. We would like to share this feeling with everyone, across national borders and the distances which separate people from each other, which feed on the fear of the unknown.
We love to live. When we go to Slovenia, the mountains are familiar, just like around Brasov, Samobor and Zakopane. The Great Plain, the Balaton, the Tokaj hills, the alleyways in Zagreb, the Viennese cafés and the smell of grilled meat in Bucharest belong to us. We are photographers, chefs, graphic designers and wine writers. We are Central Eastern Europe.