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A cookbook exploring Hungarian flavors, culture, and landscape with curious cook and artist Eden Batki.
142 backers pledged $13,267 to help bring this project to life.

About

$13,267

142

Eden cooking at her pop-up cafe
Eden cooking at her pop-up cafe

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.
My grandparents George and Margaret
My grandparents George and Margaret
Eden's father and uncle in Hungary
Eden's father and uncle in Hungary

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.

Villager and her home
Villager and her home

 Vintage photo of Eger Wine Region 

Chicken Paprikas
Chicken Paprikas

Rewards

Choose from a variety of rewards to fill your bellies and your soul!

Farmers market haul for a cooking class I taught
Farmers market haul for a cooking class I taught
Eden in her garden in Los Angeles
Eden in her garden in Los Angeles

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    PIKNIK LEVEL

    A sandwich party in the park! Join myself and the community of food and culture lovers. I provide the breads and you bring your favorite sandwich fillers and blankets. We will lounge, eat, and share stories of our unique cultures and foods. You will be emailed during the process of making this book pitch to let you know of the time and date. ++Los Angeles Residents Only.

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    KOSZONOM LEVEL

    Your name listed in the thank you section on the book website.

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    ZSA ZSA GABOR LEVEL

    You will receive a hand painted watercolor postcard from me and a thank you on the website.

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    Poppyseed Level

    You will receive one small bag of mystery paprika, it could be sweet, smoked, or spicy! Thank you on the website.

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    GRANDMA BATKI LEVEL

    You will receive a hand blended organic bag of loose tea by Eden's Herbals and a thank you on the website.

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    Pogasca Level

    You will receive a thank you on the website and a hand made spice blend of California plants by Eden's Herbals.

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    PAPRIKA LEVEL

    You will be mailed small bags of assorted Paprika varieties. Sweet, Smoked, and Spicy! You will be thanked on the website.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    GOULASH LEVEL

    You will receive a souvenir from Hungary. It could be an embroidered or printed kitchen towel, a wooden spoon, or something else distinctly Hungarian. You will be thanked on the website.

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    LAKE HEVIZ LEVEL

    Famed tarot reader Marty Windahl of MWTarotscopes will look into your cards and tell you answers to your burning questions! You will also be thanked on the website.

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    SYLVIA PLACHY LEVEL

    You will receive a one of a kind custom printed apron featuring female chefs, and a thank you on the website.

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    STRUDEL LEVEL

    Los Angeles Residents Only. One hour foraging walk for local wild edible plants with me. Near your home or mine. You will be thanked on the website.

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    MUNKACSI LEVEL

    A photo session with me! I will come to your home and make a natural light portrait of you, or you and your family. You will receive the High Res files and you make your own prints. Also you will be thanked on the project website. +++Los Angeles Residents Only.

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    SOUR CHERRY LEVEL

    You will receive a PRIVATE 3 HOUR COOKING CLASS with me, where you can choose the menu from a plethora of countries around the world. *LA residents only. You will be thanked on the website.

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    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    NOBLE ROT LEVEL

    Los Angeles residents only. Dinner for 10. I will personally cook dinner for you and 9 friends in your home featuring a sampling of delicious Hungarian dishes and wines. You will also be thanked on the website.

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Funding period

- (30 days)