The family, the team and me

By: Trademagazin editor Date: 2024. 04. 17. 11:03

This year’s Restaurateur of the Year award went to Zoltán Erhardt, owner of Erhardt Restaurant, Pension and Artisan Bakery in Sopron.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2024/4

– What is your biggest professional accolade so far?

One learns something new every day

– The “Restaurateur of the Year” award. I got it because I have been recognised not only in my immediate environment, but also in the wider profession for the past 20 years of being part of the Hungarian hospitality industry.

– What inspires you?

– The guests: the immediate and, for me, the most important feedback is the plates coming back from them. Plus my travels that end up as gastronomic tours even if I originally set out for a few days of rest.

– What are you proud of?

– My family, my colleagues and our regulars. We have created Erhardt together.

A captain always needs a good team, and I always take responsibility for them in a difficult situation.

– What trends influence your thinking and your work?

– I like to be a pioneer. Respecting traditions and roots may seem obsolete, but I am reluctant to jump on another bandwagon. I have tried to do modern gastronomy, to shape the guests a little bit, but it was a side-track.

– How do you invent new dishes?

– My partner and I read a lot – books, magazines, and novels on gastronomy. New dishes are created in the restaurant kitchen. We experiment with the boys, each of us adding our own flavours and ingredients. We taste together.

– Who do you respect in the profession?

– Tibor and Robi Rosenstein – the absolute first place goes to them, Dani Szó the sourdough friend, our in-house winemaker Franz Weninger, Lajos Bíró (chef Lali) and last but not least Karl Harrer, owner of the Harrer Chocolate Manufactory in Sopron. //

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