Carolyn Bánfalvi writes about food, travel, and wine (and often all at the same time). After living in Budapest, Hungary for more than a decade, she now splits her time between Budapest and Washington DC. But she will travel anywhere (and eat anything) in the name of research! In 2008 Carolyn and her husband founded Taste Hungary, Hungary’s leading culinary and wine tour company. At their wine shop and tasting room, The Tasting Table, they organize tastings and dinners, all focusing on the unique wines and foods of Hungary and Central Europe.
Born and raised in Washington DC (and, no, her parents are not in politics), Carolyn studied journalism at NYU and became hopelessly smitten with food, and all of the stories and culture surrounding it, while working in restaurants. She earned a degree in professional cooking and baking at Baltimore International College, and has been writing about food ever since. She is now working towards her WSET Diploma at the Wine Akademie in Rust, Austria.
Carolyn has traveled extensively around Europe, with a particular focus on Central and Eastern Europe. She loves exploring the out-of-the-way and little-known places in this part of the world, and the foods that people cook and feed each other there. Carolyn is the author of the culinary guidebooks Food Wine Budapest (Little Bookroom) and The Food and Wine Lover’s Guide to Hungary (Park Kiadó). The books are the first guidebooks to focus on Hungarian food and drink, and the culture surrounding it. Her writing (along with her own photos in many cases) has appeared in a variety of publications, including Saveur, CNN, Afar, Black Ink, Olive, Frommer’s, Four Seasons, Gastronomica, Wall Street Journal Europe, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Washington Post, Globe & Mail, Washington Diplomat, The Atlantic, and Gourmet. Carolyn also edits the occasional book, reviews hotels, and teaches private workshops on Hungarian cooking.
Carolyn has won several awards in acknowledgment of her food writing. Food Wine Budapest was a finalist for an IACP Cookbook Award in 2009. The Food and Wine Lover’s Guide to Hungary was a winner in the Hungary category of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2008, making it to the second tier of judging. She twice won scholarships to attend the Symposium for Professional Food Writers—in 2007 it was the Apicius Scholarship which awards a writer whose “prose rings a clear voice and reflects the delicious joys of the table” and “whose work will stand the test of time” and in 2010 it was the James Peterson Food Writing Passion Scholarship. In 2008 she was awarded a Culinary Trust Memorial Journalism Scholarship for culinary research. While attending culinary school she was awarded a scholarship for food writing from the International Foodservice Editorial Council. Most recently, she was awarded a scholarship towards her WSET Diploma Course studies from the Renowned Wineries of Burgenland.