Ádám Mede (24) is a chef at the Michelin starred Onyx Restaurant, and has just finished third place at one of the most prestigious competitions for young chefs – at the Chaine de Rotisseurs. There were competitors from 22 countries, and no Hungarian chef has ever won – except for Mede.
Ádám Mede has been longing to become a chef from a very young age, and already held dinner parties at the age of 17-18. According to him, it wasn’t the school that taught him how to cook, as he already knew most of the materials when he started his studies.
The biggest mistake people make while cooking, says Mede, is that they follow every recipe to the letter without trying to shape them for their own liking. He personally has never made anything 100% according to the instructions.
After an accident, when he broke his leg and had to stay in bed for a while, Mede realized that he had to make steps to achieve his dream if he wanted to work in a Michelin starred restaurant after he got better. After many tries, he was employed as a washer-up at Costest. “I only washed the dishes for a day, because they saw how motivated I was, and I knew everything about cooking, and all the ingredients” – Mede said.
Mede spent a year and a half at Costest, which he describes as one of the hardest phases in his life. Nevertheless, the time he worked at the restaurant was well spent, as he was constantly able to improve and learn new recipes.
After his time at Costest, Mede started working in another Michelin starred restaurant: Onyx. Mede emphasized that he learnt a great deal from Szabina Szulló and Tamás Széll, who also helped him prepare for the Chaine de Rotisseurs.
The competitors of Chaine de Rotisseurs only receive the ingredients on the morning of the competition, so they have no time to practice the same recipe over and over again, as it is the case at the Bocuse d’Or.
For months, Tamás Széll and Szabina Szulló prepared a surprise basket for Mede every week, and he had to work with the given ingredients. Mede won the Hungarian round of the competition: he emerged as the victor among the 12 competitors (only chefs who work at the accredited restaurants can compete).
The international final was held in Hungary for the first time ever, and there were competitors from 22 countries, all of them under the age of 27.
There were lots of Hungarian ingredients at the competition, such as sterlet, goose liver, venison, and king oyster mushrooms. Mede finished third place, and the evaluation was completely anonymous. Mede made sterlet with cauliflower puree and pistachio crème, and he came up with the recipe on the spot.
Mede emphasized how thankful he is to Széll and Szulló for all the practice they had. He was satisfied with the result; the only thing he would have wanted to improve was the serving, but he ran out of time. For Mede, cooking is everything, and he cannot imagine his life without it. Constant improvement is what he desires the most, and although he doesn’t want to leave Hungary, he says that he has to experience foreign cuisines to be able to go even further.
based on an article of index.hu
translated by Adrienn Sain