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Bográcsfesztivál in Auckland / 2023

As the summer approaches, there are more and more opportunities to organize outdoor programs, along with outdoor cooking which is our essence for us Hungarians! To celebrate this, the Auckland Hungarian Club organized a bográcsfesztivál, usually held in February, for the first time this spring, which is always one of the most successful gatherings of the year.

This time it was no different: there was almost a festival atmosphere in the middle of Auckland; you could smell the delicious Hungarian food from the streets from far away.

Every year our fantastic talented chefs outdo the previous year (much to the delight of the tasting public) and prepare for the festival in healthy competition with each other. On 11 November, five teams took their places in the schoolyard, already at home, busily preparing the ingredients for their specialities. The Szabó (or, as they are known, kis) Peti and his family cooked a pincepörkölt with a mix of different meats, while Lili Weisz-Köves prepared her award-winning mixed gulyás, also using a variety of meats and delicious Hungarian wine. Peti Bártfai (aka nagy Peti) and Kori Nagy made a csülkös babgulyás enriched with home-made smoked meats and a good red wine, and a little bit of their hearts and souls. The members of the big Ho-ho team, Robi Hidvégi and Erika Koncz, cooked the Szegedi halászlé, in which they pre-soaked all sorts of delicacies, and served it with pieces of sea fish. Erika even prepared some wonderful pogácsa as an appetizer! Adam Valy made a real fire-cooked goulash soup based on his own recipe that he usually makes for special occasions - we're glad that the bográcsfesztivál has now also been considered as a special occasion!

While the food was cooking, in the indoor part, the children were selling beautifully decorated and wrapped, tasty cakes at their own stalls. Bori and Bendi also made gluten-free cookies alongside the traditional cookies, which they printed with a sign and menu - a real professional job! Lotti’s apple snake strudel was not only particularly delicious, but also looked really spectacular! At their stall, his brother Alex offered the thirsty guests freshly squeezed homemade lemonade - what a splendid service! Viktória and Danika made lollipop cakes, chocolate linzer and cheese sticks, which they wrapped up one by one. Last but not least, Elliott dazzled the audience with a real favourite, chocolate chip cookies.

At Kati Földi's craft corner, the children could make beautiful Christmas decorations which was a good way to get in the mood for the upcoming holidays. When the products of Nóri Reindl and the Hungarian Sausage Box arrived, suddenly there was an even bigger rush inside, and the smell of paprika and smoked meat was wafting in.

In the outdoor playground the game was non-stop, which later turned into a war of numbers with the participation of many, many active fathers, much to our delight! Lili also made a piñata for the children (a huge paper ball filled with all kinds of delicious sweets) which they had to try to "open" blindfolded and with a rolling pin or baseball bat. The joy of success was not lost!

We were delighted to have as our guests Mihály Geiger, Deputy Head of Mission and his wife Erika Geiger, Consular Administrator from the Hungarian Embassy in Wellington. We hope that they will visit the Hungarian events in Auckland many more times, from which they will return home with Hungarian delicacies and many good memories.

The good mood was ensured by the good company and the music; it was the most popular event of the year! Thank you all for coming and we hope you had a great time in this little Hungarian corner of the big city.

Next time we look forward to welcoming you to the Christmas picnic in December, a joint event of the Auckland Hungarian Club and AUskola/Auckland Hungarian School. In the meantime, have a look at some of the photos, I think the smiles speak for themselves!

Viola Vadász



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