BDW Open Studios – MŰHELY / ONYX

2022.09.12. 22:58

The aim of the initiative is to present an innovative Hungarian cuisine based on the fusion of art, science and gastronomy, using Hungarian ingredients. Being a forerunner of Onyx, Műhely aims for sustainable operation, using a democratic, inspiring, sustainable, explorative and intuitive working method.

What is the concept of Műhely?
Műhely, a creative space of the ONYX Creative Community, is where we develop and test our conceptual menus and dishes. Our guests can enjoy Műhely’s collective dinner experience at the 16-seater communal workshop table in the evenings, where they can also gain insight into experimentation and the development of serving utensils, and even become part of the creative process. Their feedback will help us perfect our dishes, while they have the chance to get to know us better. In addition to the experimental kitchen, we also accommodate a gastronomic library and a ceramics workshop.
We also focus on nurturing and educating future talent in the fields of gastronomy and design. We want to be involved in helping young people become outstanding figures in their profession and experience the passion we call fine dining.

Who are the team members?
Managing director and owner Anna Niszkács, strategic director Marcell Fekete, operational chef Ákos Horváth, logistics chef Ágnes Tóth, pastry chef Zsuzsanna Borsos, research chef Péter Várvizi, restaurant manager Balázs Sallay, sommelier László Öcsi Angerman, purchasing manager Gergely Salfai-Kovács, food design researcher Márta Merkl, art director Angéla Góg DLA and her dog Mustár, sustainability manager Alexandra Végh, and operational chef Márton Tatai. The team members come from different professions and their task is to inspire each other to design, test and implement all that the revamped ONYX represents.

What are you currently working on?
We are developing a conceptual menu called METROPOLIS, which is all about the experience of urban travel. We are presenting elements of it at unconventional events. Most recently, we explored the city with our guests on a bus trip, and our next event will similarly be a surprising tasting.

Your approach is unusual. How does it reflect responsible thinking?
We’re taking a new approach to hospitality, with adaptation and mitigation to climate change as an integral part. Our long-term goal is self-sufficiency, as a first step of which we have set up our own free-range chicken farm, and we are currently working on providing fruits and vegetables from a plot of land reserved for us, while also introducing our own hydroponic farming method. We are the first in the sector in Hungary to have an organisational carbon footprint calculation made by ZeroCarbon, based on the Bilan Carbone calculation methodology, which we communicate on our menu; we would like our guests to help us neutralise it by planting trees.

Cooperation is important to you. Is this also true for the architecture and interior design of Műhely?
Since one of the main objectives of Műhely is to present a Hungarian cuisine based on the fusion of several areas, we consciously seek out such collaborations.
The interior design was developed in collaboration with the URBA studio, whose interior design approach has a lot in common with our own. The result of an inspiring and exciting process was a functional, comfortable and simple, yet cosy space. The chairs were developed and produced for us by Komok, whose members pay particular attention to structural details, think in rational solutions and also care about considerations of sustainability. The mirrored server pickup point is the work of design artist Boldizsár Szenteczki, and has also become one of the most exciting decorative elements of the space.
We also attach importance to ensuring that our serving tools are made in collaboration with local creators and companies. Our porcelain dishes were made by ceramic artist Edit Kondor.

How are you preparing for the Open Studios programme?
We plan to give an insight into the creative process and show how we work together. In an informal discussion, members of the Onyx Creative Community will talk about their personal experience and even the difficulties they have faced. An exhibition and presentations will also showcase our collaboration with MOME and our youth education programme.

fotókredit: Mohai Balázs, Rácmolnár Milán