4025 Debrecen, Piac utca 23.
Although everything is still covered by snow, spring is coming. In such a period noises are softer, the nights are more mysterious and if the landscape is white, people do not feel so cold. The holiday of love is over, and at the bottom of his heart everyone is preparing for spring. For the first lukewarm breeze, the drawing out of days, birds chirping, flowers and occasional refreshing showers. We, cooks are preparing for spring vegetables and fruits. The very first bunch of ramsons, morels and crispy green asparagus. But it is still February, so let us see what we can cook now. Here we have fantastic root vegetables. Sweet and fragrant carrots. Wonderful crimson beetroots you put your teeth into, you feel as if united with mother earth. Pumpkin, which recalls our childhood if properly baked. Crispy cabbage, which can bring the freshness of summer to our table even on chilly winter days. Cauliflower, which offers comfort in a cream soup when you are frozen to the bone by the time you get home from work. You do not always need summer to cook. All you need is love and imagination. Cooking is the simplest thing on earth and one of the most magnificent sources of joy. Let us see the reasons why people cook...Mothers love to cook to their beloved ones with heart and soul. They put the food in front of the family with a smile on their faces no matter how hard and long the day has been.
Grandmothers can hardly wait for their grandchildren to sit around the table with cheeks smeared with home-made jam. Men who (perhaps rightly) assume that this is one way to conquer ladies’ hearts. Ladies who overtly profess that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. (Actually, there are a few more tricks...) Then there are cooks like us. Cooks for whom the smiles they sometimes see on their guests’ faces are worth more than anything. We find strength in them to face difficult days, a real sense of achievement and love.
What do all these have in common?
Cooking brings people closer to one another. The family, friends and lovers. It is not by chance that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Probably many of you have already been to parties where everybody ended up in the kitchen. That is the place where the best conversations unfold. Many have participated in business negotiations where the parties got far closer to each other during a good lunch. After these thoughts I cannot omit the basics. Everything starts with the basics. Let me elaborate. Imagine a slice of bread spread with butter, with tomato and perhaps a few thin slices of spring onions. We all remember how much we loved it in our childhood. And now? Do we still love it? Will it taste good if it is made of pre-packed and pre-sliced bread sold in stores with poor-quality butter and unripe, pale tomatoes? No, it won’t. The reason is that there is something wrong with the very basics. The bread is not good enough. The butter is not good enough. The tomatoes are unripe. If the bread had a crispy crust, the butter was silky and home-made, the tomatoes were picked by grandmother in the garden and had not seen anything else but the ground, sunshine and rain... Do we know, and do we want to know what the thing that seems to be a tomato and is purchased in winter is not given? Three things: ground, rain and sunshine. Do we know that bread requires four things: flour, water, salt and yeast? Take the time to read the ingredients of sliced bread. The list includes at least ten items. It is no wonder if we do not like bread and butter with tomato any longer. And here is fried chicken we used to love so much. What have changed are not us but chickens. If the very basics are not in order, the entire structure is clumsy and unviable. Take care of what you eat or what you are made to eat! This is what we teach the young cooks in our restaurant. Try a ripe tomato with a pinch of sea salt. Taste cracklings made of home-grown ducks with crispy bread and real red onions. A flavoury and golden-coloured broth made of chicken grown on a farm, with genuine vegetables. A carp caught from River Tisza instead of fat, bred ones sold in large stores. These are the very basics that will teach you how important the quality of raw materials is. Modern kitchen technology and the numerous flavour enhancers are all in vain. The chicken that grows within barely five weeks without natural food and sunshine can hardly be good. It can hardly taste good. But most importantly: it can hardly be healthy. Here in IKON everyone has understood and believes that if one wants to engage in top-quality gastronomy, there is nothing more significant than the excellent raw materials. Aware or unaware, everyone who has ever dropped in on us grasps something of this. Our guests feel that our professional skills and the modern technology we use are nice words, but if the very basics are not in order, they do not mean anything. This is what we represent humbly, because once you have strolled to this path, there is no way back. Never more. Love to cook and do not be scared to love eating.