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The Great Gulyas (Goulash) Cook-Off

The Great International Gulyas (Goulash) Cook-Off
June 17, 2012

Did you know that the word gulya means 'herd' in Hungarian, and gulyás means 'herdsman'?

You would if you attended the annual Gulyas (Goulash) Cook-Off on Father's Day, June 17, 2012 sponsored by the Hungarian Cultural Garden. The event is held on Father's Day every year at St. Emeric's Catholic Church on West 22nd Street. This year twenty one chefs competed for the coveted title of Best Gulyas.

Gulyas Judges Debbie Hanson, Laura Taxel, Tom Ratoni-Nagy and Dave Farkas

Gulyas Judges Debbie Hanson, Laura Taxel,
Tom Ratoni-Nagy and Dave Farkas


Four judges had the awesome responsibility of tasting each entry and scoring them on a 1-5 basis for Appearance, Aroma and of course, Taste. They were Laura Taxel, Dave Farkas, Tom Ratoni-Nagy and ClevelandPeople.Com's Debbie Hanson.

Hungarian Goulash Gulyas

Gulyas (goulash) to taste and judge


The Judge's choice was Chef Hegedus. His gulyas had just the right kick of Papirka with tender meat, vegetables and potatoes. I asked world renowned Chef Art Smith (via twitter) what to look for in judging goulash. His answer was simply "It's all about the Paprika!"

John Megyimori, Terrie Szucs, John Szucs and John Megyimori Jr.

John Megyimori, Terrie Szucs, John Szucs
and John Megyimori Jr.


The People's Choice winner was John Megyimori, no stranger to the winner's circle.

For the first time a second place People's Choice award was issued. This went to "Gypsy Goulash" produced by Robert "Guzai" Matay, Sifra Matay and Elizabeth "Rozsa" Matay. Both of the People's Choice winners also scored high with the judges.

Elizabeth Rozsa Matay, Robert Guzsi Matay and Sifra Matay

Elizabeth 'Rozsa' Matay, Robert 'Guzsi' Matay and Sifra Matay


Judge Tom Ratoni-Nagy shared some stories and information about traditional Mangalitsa Pigs and Hungarian meats such as Hungarian Pork, Blood Sausage, Head Cheese and Klobasa.




Hungarian Goulasj hudge Tom Ratoni-Nagy

Tom Ratoni-Nagy





This is a great way to spend at least part of Father's Day and support the Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden at the same time.

Enjoy these images from the 2012 Gulyas Cook Off

Tom Whitmer, Mary Whitmer and Bill Kolosi

Committee Members Tom Whitmer, Mary Whitmer and Bill Kolosi


Kristina Olah, Tom Smith, L to R behind: Sue Eltmeyer, Kori Smith, Carolyn Balogh

(front) Kristina Olah and Tom Smith
(back) Sue Eltmeyer, Kori Smith and Carolyn Balogh


Frank, Joe and Laurel Tombazzi with Ernie Mihaly

Frank, Joe and Laurel Tombazzi with Ernie Mihaly


Inside St Emeric Church was the annual memorial to King Ladislaus (Laszlo) of Hungary who reigned from 1077 - 1095.

Statue of Prince St. Imre, Saint Emeric of Hungary

Statue of Prince St. Imre, Saint Emeric of Hungary


Victor Falk, Regional Commissioner of Order of St. Laszlo

Victor Falk, Regional Commissioner of Order of St. Laszlo


Steve Szappanos, Order of St. Laszlo

Steve Szappanos, Order of St. Laszlo



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