In recognition of his outstanding gastronomic work, László Szabó, founder and owner of the only Michelin Guide restaurant in the city and the surrounding area, received the Gyor-Belvaros Service Award.
Residents of Gyor need not be familiar with La Merida’s famous city centre, which has been recommended by the world’s most famous restaurant guide, the Michelin Guide, twice in the past two years. Even the name of the place testifies that it is a real family business, as the word Lamareda consists of the first letters of the first names of the family members: László, Margó, Réka, Dávid…
“I was also interested in journalism, but then it turned out that in 1969 I started working as a server at the Vörös Csillag Hotel in Gyor. My parents were farmers in Vamoszabadi, so when I entered the hotel, I entered a whole new world, which was a miracle in itself. We have hosted prestigious foreign delegations, elegant hotel guests, presented them with original Herend porcelain, and even the famous Sudanese President Numeiri, who visited Gyor, was once our guest.” – says Mr. Szabo.
“The former Royal Hotel, then the Red Star Hotel, was a great place where we could learn the ins and outs of the profession. However, when I got my server qualification, they couldn’t offer me a local job, so I ended up in Balaton. Among others, she worked at Marina and Annabella in Fored, and later at Tihany Salo, now deputy store manager.. My wife stayed in Győr, and after a while I had to make a decision: either her or Balaton. Of course I chose him and Gyor, even though they offered us a job and an apartment in a very good location in Tihany“.
“I became manager of the Attila restaurant in Szabadhegy, and then in 1989, IBUSZ managers approached me with an opportunity: they wanted to open a restaurant on the Hegyeshalmi border. This later became the famous Határ Restaurant, where in the Diplomatic Lounge we hosted Árpád Göncz, Ferenc Mádl, László Sólyom and Viktor Orbán, among others.
“Ferenc Madl’s wife, Madame Dalma’s favorite, was fresh cheesecake, but Viktor Orbán was always short of time, so he would usually order a cold foie gras sandwich with tea and go on his way,” the distinguished recalls. Hegyeshalmi years, 74 years old this year specialist.
“My wife and I wanted to have our own restaurant, so in 2001 we bought the lease of the Kishalász restaurant, here on Apáca Street, from the legendary Győr restaurateur Lajos Szalai, his uncle Öcsi. After a complete renovation of the building, Lamareda opened in this location. We had countless famous guests, and after his performance in Gyor, Placido Domingo had dinner with us as well. Since we were listed in the Michelin Guide, we have received bookings from abroad, and from the United States as well,” adds László Szabó.
“We work with our children in the restaurant, everyone has their own task. My wife and I have been married for 48 years, and we have a beautiful three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter, her name is Sophie. Today we travel less, and we want to spend as much time as possible with our family. I’m lucky, because for me La Mareda is not only my job, but also my hobby, and a very important part of our life together.