The Concept and Inspiration
My name is Eden Batki, you might know me as a woman who likes to eat.
I make my living as a cook, caterer, filmmaker, and photographer in Los Angeles and my food is informed by my life as an artist, forager, and traveler. I was a consulting producer on the Emmy award winning show Anthony Bourdain’s Explore Parts Unknown series as well as a month long Asia series. My photographs of people and food have been published in American and International magazines such as The New York Times Magazine and Monocle. I've created numerous pop-up dinners and I ran an herbal syrup company for 5 years called Eden's Herbals.
I’m creating a Hungarian cookbook that dives into the stories of the land and it’s people. Hungarian food is fascinating because of it’s unique blend of influences from France, Italy, Serbia, The Roma, Austria, Germany, Transylvania, Ukraine, Slovakia, The Balkans, and Turkey. From the sour cherry growers, to the wine makers, to the paprika fields, and rooftop pickle makers, I want to explore it all.
After surviving the Holocaust, my father and his family came to the United States during the 1957 Hungarian revolution. This project is inspired by my Jewish Hungarian heritage, and is an homage to my grandmother whose cooking has created an everlasting impression on my life and love for the culinary arts. I spent time in the summers with my grandparents eating stuffed cabbage and chicken soup with dumplings, watching my grandfather hang suitcase smuggled smoked sausages in the basement. My taste memory is strong and I strive to recreate the recipes my grandmother made, though she gave me no formal instruction. There are no longer Hungarian restaurants in Los Angeles and I fear the disappearance of this delicious food in modern society outside of Hungary.
My favorite dishes include:
- Csirke Paprikas- Chicken stewed in a rich tomato paprika stew, usually served with hand made dumplings.
- Silvas Pite- Seasonal fruit and yogurt cake, light and slightly sweet.
- Korozott- Sheep and farmers cheese onion paprika spread, delicious on rye bread or raw veggies.
Fundraising Broken Down
- Hire Translator
- Travel Costs, airfare, lodging
- Necessary camera/digital equipment
- Administration costs post trip, Kickstarter rewards processing
- Graphic Designer
This funding I receive from this Kickstarter campaign will allow me to travel back to Hungary to scour the seven regions of the country, hire a translator, collect recipes, interviews, and take beautiful photos capturing intimate experiences with home cooks, grandmothers, farmers, and restaurant owners. I will explore age-old traditions with herbalists and talk with young chefs creating new flavors.
This book will be a compilation of known dishes, and my adaptations of these recipes for the modern International palate. Hungarian food is filled with rich savory and sweet dishes that I think everyone can and should enjoy in their home kitchens. I see this cookbook as a way to add my voice to the dialog of first generation Americans who want to reconnect with their heritage.
Vintage photo of Eger Wine Region
Choose from a variety of rewards to fill your bellies and your soul!
Your contribution will allow me to spend the time with people throughout the country to develop a delicious book pitch for publishers.
Thank you and please follow along with me on this journey.
Find Out More About Me
To see food and art work https://edenbatki.com/
To see photography work https://edenbatkiphoto.com/
+++ Immense thank you to these folks for helping on this campaign!
Video Editing-Amy Von Harrington http://www.vonharrington.com/
Mentoring-Yasmin Khan http://yasminkhanstories.com/
Editing- Marty Windahl http://www.mwtarotscopes.com/
Artwork- Claire Hungerford http://www.clairehungerford.com/
Portrait at top-Julia Sherman http://www.saladforpresident.com/
Risks and challenges
Having worked for years as a traveling photographer and producer, I know I cannot anticipate every potentially problematic situation that might occur, but I am confident in my ability to address any issue that may arise. In my previous work traveling around the world, I have dealt successfully with large budgets, timelines, and delays out of my control. My instinct is to avoid problems before they occur. My adventurous attitude prevents me from getting discouraged and I see every potential problem as an opportunity to learn and grow.
As this Kickstarter is to form a proposal for a printed book, the next challenge will be finding a publisher who is as excited about realizing this book as I am. Through my network of food industry connections, and published cookbook authors, I'll look for publishers that would be a good fit for me. I plan to go to the major food related conferences such as IACP to meet with publishers and editors. I have connections to an extensive community in Hungary through my uncle, a translator and artist, who lives in Hungary half the year. I will reach out to experts in the food and wine field and to my uncle’s friends in Hungary who can connect me with people to interview. I have worked hard as a freelancer for the past 22 years and am not easily swayed by hurdles and am easily adaptable to new situations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)