Hungary - Katalin Pintér
Budapest, March 31, 2021
The new Bailli Délégué
" A committed believer in tourism and gastronomy "

How it all began
A committed believer in tourism and gastronomy from the start of her career, the rest is history for Katalin Pintér, Bailli Délégué of Hungary since taking over from Iván Novák.

Katalin remembered, “One time I picked up the phone book and by chance it opened at the Grand Hotel situated on Budapest’s Margaret Island. I called them. Result was the lady I spoke to said: Okay, come for an interview!

Again, the rest is history as I worked there every summer, first cleaning rooms then progressing to room service and starting to work as a member of the service brigade. On the way I fell in love with the colourful world of hospitality. I made a decision to consciously learn everything about this profession in which I found myself. I feel very lucky that my grandmothers cooked excellently. I learned a lot from them. Plus, one grandmother was a spice and herb expert.”

Notable career dates
1977 - after finishing high school, Katalin worked as a waitress in the New York Café. Studying at the same time she graduated from the College of Budapest Commerce and Hospitality. She received her second degree from Budapest University of Economics.

1985 - became the Business Manager of the Duna Intercontinental Hotel organising countless Hungarian weeks in more than a dozen countries.

1992 - joined Radisson Hotels as a Public Relations and Sales Manager. With the support of the Radisson Group, she was able to gain a marketing qualification at Cornell University in Ithaca, USA. Katalin also studied hospitality in the United States and art history in Italy.

2002 - nominated to be a Maître Restaurateur member of the Chaîne.

2004 - promoted to Chargée de Missions.

2009 - elevated to Chancelier, ie. “second-in-command” to the Bailli Délégué.

2019 - just for fun, graduated in food engineering at the Technical University of Budapest.

2021 (March) - formerly appointed as Bailli Délégué by the Chaîne’s International Board.

Katalin has been Gerbeaud’s CEO since 2000. It has become a family business with her daughter on board as Managing Director.

As she observed, “You could say it was practically fate that I ended up in Gerbeaud. At the time I couldn’t even imagine that one day it would be my heart throb.

By the end of the second year, I had already realised the exceptional opportunities in the field of patinated confectionery. And I already knew that it is not a complicated business, you just have to do it well.

I have been running the company with my children as our own business since 2004. The first Gerbeaud confectionery outlet opened in Tokyo in June 2009. It has been very successful since its launch after which we opened another confectionery store in Seoul in 2014.”

Recent awards
2016 - Katalin received the Knight’s Cross in the Hungarian Order of Merit.

2018 - Gerbeaud’s Onyx Restaurant earned its second Michelin star (the first one was awarded in 2010)

Katalin enthused, “We are building the future with an excellent team of professionals who we are constantly training.

That is why being a member of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is of paramount importance in my life. What Gerbeaud and the Chaîne have in common is the pursuit of renewal while nurturing traditions.

I am devoted to gastronomy. I try to get the most of out of myself day by day. ‘Gerbeaud quality’ has now become a concept. We only use high-quality ingredients for our pastries and desserts. Our Onyx Restaurant has grown out of this sophistication.”

Supporting the future generation is one of Gerbeaud’s top priorities therefore they place a great emphasis on workshops and trainings. Since being a Professional member establishment member of Chaîne, Gerbeaud has taken part in the Bailliage of Hungary Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs national competitions. With some success too having participated nine times and won the National Final five times! That the winning young chefs then had the opportunity to represent Hungary on an international stage was a great honour for Katalin and her business.

Another notable success was when in May 2016, Chef Tamás Széll, the leading culinary artist of Gerbeaud’s Michelin-starred Onyx Restaurant, won the Bocuse d’Or Europe, the most prestigious reward in the world of European gastronomy.

Without any doubt these are important opportunities to maintain friendships and establish new ones. All are important steps towards the goal for Gerbeaud to achieve a leading, guiding position in both confectionery and culinary arts in both Hungary and internationally.

Marie Jones
Managing Editor