𝟓𝐭𝐡 𝐒𝐓𝐎𝐏 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐮𝐫 "𝐂𝐔𝐏𝐈𝐃'𝐒 𝐒𝐏𝐎𝐎𝐍 𝐄𝐔𝐑𝐎𝐏𝐄 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑" 𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐫 -
Budapest, the capital of Hungary and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The Danube river divides the city to two halves: Buda and Pest. Each half is unique, but together they offer everything – rich history, cultural heritage, incredible architectural beauty, delicious Hungarian cuisine, …
A unique work of art in the City Park is a statue of an anonymous chronicler from the 13th century who is said to have miraculous powers. Legend has it that if you touch the pen of Chronicler Anonymous, you will be gifted with excellent writing skills. We hope that we too will be touched by the miraculous power of writing, considering that we have 20 more countries to visit.
On Saturday, 11th March we held a competition in Budapest and despite the bad weather we gathered in large numbers in front of the Karmel Kiskertje monastery in Újpest. The opening speech was delivered by the ambassador of Croatia to Hungary, Mr. Mladen Andrlić, who, with encouraging words, wished good luck to the contestants who came from various parts of Hungary.
But to make the excitement even greater, absolutely all contestants decided to cook their favourite dish, Gulyás, from scratch and in huge quantities (goulash – a stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika and other spices. Although it is prepared throughout eastern and central Europe, it originates in Hungary, it is one of their national dishes and a symbol of the country.).
Cooking a dish from scratch is not in accordance to our competition rules, which state that each contestant has 10 minutes to show their skills by preparing and serving the dish (which they partly prepared at home) on one plate. But how could have we not given them the opportunity, when some of them drove to the location of the competition for more than 200 kilometres. The weather was turning into an impossible mission, and the stews were being cooked for two hours... There were really all kinds of challenges, flakes fluttered, but also flour, breadcrumbs, plates... and our contestants never stop stirring their goulashes. And when the presentations were finished, our members of the jury, tousled by the wind, tasted the food. Mrs. Melinda Adam, secretary of the Croatian embassy, nuns of the Karmel Kiskertje monastery and our senior expert advisor Vedran were delighted how tasty all the dishes were, but Lászka Alexandra who travelled to Budapest for 180 kilometres from Szimbiózis Alapítvány in Miskolc stood out. She brought her own oven, loaded it with wood and baked potato dough buns on the board, which she rolled out on the spot. We congratulate everyone on their participation and we will mett Alexandra again at the semi-final competition in Zagreb in September. With farewell to Budapest, we continue our European tour. And the next stop is Ljubljana in Slovenia!
𝟔𝐭𝐡 𝐒𝐓𝐎𝐏 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐮𝐫 "𝐂𝐔𝐏𝐈𝐃'𝐒 𝐒𝐏𝐎𝐎𝐍 𝐄𝐔𝐑𝐎𝐏𝐄 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑" 𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐫 -
Hidden in a valley on the banks of Ljubljanica river, Ljubljana is a gem that will charm you at first sight. Although it has only three hundred thousand inhabitants, it is full of numerous sites and rich cultural heritage. Slovenian calmness, intertwined with hot temperament, is the combination that makes Ljubljana so special and always alive.
The Dragon Bridge is a trademark of Ljubljana and one of the most famous sights of the city. The bridge dates back to 1901 and was built for Emperor Francis Joseph.
And just like the dragons guarding the bridge, our little truck spread its wings in front of the Institute of St. Stanislav in Ljubljana and turned into the most beautiful competition stage.
That is where we held Cupid’s Spoon competition for candidates from Slovenia on a sunny and windy Saturday, March 18th. For our contestants, this was a unique opportunity to publicly present their abilities for the first time. Positive stage fright did not escape anyone, but, very skilfully, they started preparing different presentations full of colours, pleasant smells, tastes and seasoned with the most important ingredient of all - love.
As Ivana, Vedran and Mladen, our expert jury, commented, "only when you personally face the emotions of the competitors can we finally understand how little is needed for all of us to become better people."
Most of the contestants have shown that they are already prepared for auxiliary jobs in the hospitality industry, they just need to be given the opportunity. We believe that their visibility through the Cupid's Spoon competition will raise employers’ awareness.
All the candidates stood out with their skill, but Nino Kaštrun from the Downov Sindrom Slovenija association stood out for many things and deserved to win! With an extremely demanding choice of dish (orzotto with grilled trout fillet), he showed perfect pre-preparation of the fillet (which he deboned himself!) and grilled it flawlessly. His food service was at the level of a top restaurant. Well done Nino, we are looking forward to seeing you again in September at the semi-final competition in Zagreb!
We are grateful to the director of the Zavod sv. Stanislava, Mr. Tone Česen whose help with organization of the competition in Ljubljana was invaluable and to 24ur.com and Spletna TV for media coverage.See you in Ljubljana next year!