Gléda reinvents and modernizes turn-of the-century style hospitality. It offers classic, home-style flavors paired with modern kitchen technology and a friendly atmosphere. Gléda is a family-oriented restaurant at its finest. The two owners, János Deli and Sándor Kerekes, have moved in hospitality circles for years, and have known each other for the past decade. Together, they bring their experiences, passion, and shared love of restauranteering to this project. Creating Gléda was about establishing an easy-going atmosphere for guests, but ensuring precision and attention-to-detail in every meal and experience.
Our dream was to create a restaurant that represents everything we believe about hospitality. This is our passion. This is Gléda.
János Deli and Sándor Kerekes
The Innkeeper & Owner
I’m the third generation in my family who has worked in hospitality. My grandfather, József Kári, opened a family restaurant in the 1930s in Vecsés, a little town about an hour from Budapest. After WWII he rebuilt it, but he lost the restaurant when everything became state-owned. Thanks to my uncle, there was always some kind of restaurant running in the family so I grew up in this environment. I started my career in a hotel, working my way up from being a bellboy to the hotel manager. I learned and experienced a lot even at a young age. But, I wanted adventure and to gain even more experience, and this led me to England. Thanks to luck and fate I started working at Heston Blumnethal’s The Hind’s Head in Bray. After a short time I became a manager there and I could see first-hand how a professional gastro company was run. During my time in England I also worked at restaurants like The Royal Oak Paley Street and Cliveden House, which is Michelin-starred. I worked with incredible professionals like chefs Garrey Dawson, Martin Blunos, and Dominic Chapman.
After I returned home to Hungary, I worked at the restaurant Csalogány26 and, at the young age of 28, I was the manger at the restaurant called Aranyszarvas. There, together with chef Gábor Mogyorósi, in record time we helped make Aranyszarvas one of Hungary’s top 10 restaurants. The next step for me was a very momentous one. I spent five years as the manager at MÁK Bistro. These were great years and we were able to achieve a lot. I also tried my hand at restauranteering in regional Hungary, and was able to built up a successful brand for MÁRGA Bistro.
As a consultant, I’ve helped many other restaurants and businesses over the years. I like helping young people and those who are open and willing to learn. This profession is always changing and it’s important to keep growing and developing. There’s always a new direction to take, and new challenges to take on. This is my life.
The Chef & Owner
Almost everyone in my family is somehow connected to the food industry or hospitality. My grandfather was a butcher at the legendary Rezső Fleischer slaughterhouse. My mother worked in a hotel kitchen. My father had a patisserie on one of the main streets in Budapest. When everything became state-run, he started to deal in hard-boiled sweets like candies, and lollypops, as well as coconut delicacies and wafers. I studied the craft next to my father and I grew to love it. It was never a question that I would follow in his footsteps.
After I finished school, I was still pretty young when I won an international confectionery completion. As a result, I could choose between a study tour of Canada or a one-year contract at a restaurant in Spain. That’s how – at the age of 21 – I ended up on the Iberian Peninsula. There, my boss was a very influential man called “El Cura” or “the priest” who was an advisor to the Royal Family. He ran five restaurants in Spain. During my time in Madrid, I worked from 6am to 2pm on the desserts. Then, once my shift ended, I joined the chef to learn as much as possible. This is how I learned how to work with meat and fish, and learned about the traditional seaside and mountain-region cuisines of Spain. One year became two, but eventually I felt it was time to return home.
When I returned to Hungary I worked at the Flamenco Hotel and the Várkert Casino. It’s funny because I didn’t follow the usual steps of my profession. I was never a cook but became a chef right away. Then, when I had the chance, I opened my own restaurant. It was a pizza and salad bar where I was the chef and manager. Once I got chatting to a group of skydivers who’d come into the restaurant. I’d always been interested in this extreme sport, so I thought I’d try it out. I quickly found out skydiving wasn’t just a hobby for me, but a way of life. France isn’t only famous for food, but skydiving. I’ve been once for the food, and three times for the skydiving! I’ve got about a thousand jumps under my belt, and one big injury, which made me give up the sport for a while. For nine months I was injured, and I practically had to learn how to walk again. This event made me return to my original passion, and I retuned to the Várkert Casino as one of the chefs and to the Vénhajó as the manager. I was also still running my own business. Every so often I’d play an interesting game. I’d apply for a chef position just to do the trial day. I was interested in whether I still had it in me. Could I handle the pace? Did I have the skills in my hands? Could I follow the latest gastro trends? I’d do one full trial day, then never go back – even if I got the job.
As time went on, I worked in the Gold Bistro, which had a cultish following. My experience there was transformative because I learned so much from my boss, József Szentesi, about wines. I was responsible for creating lots of wine pairing dinners and was given a free hand to let my creativity flow. Next, I headed to the Almárium Bistro, which was also an important next step in my career.
At the moment I’m a freelance consultant, which allows me to help establish a new Hungarian restaurant in Albania, or to provide professional advice to a new restaurant opening up here in Budapest.
I’m a big believer in excellent Hungarian cuisine. I believe it’s possible to cook with creativity while using the best ingredients and respecting our traditions. Hungarian cuisine is on its own path because although there are influences and fusions, which all have an impact, it holds enough interest and character to rival any other international cuisine.