Jozsef Bancsi, Paprikash Chef & Creator
Jozsef was born in Budapest, Hungary into a restaurateur’s family. His mother and father, Erzsebet and Janos, owned and operated Csarda, a two dining room restaurant on Balycsi Zilinski Ut, in Budapest. In 1950 the restaurant was confiscated by the Communist Regime, which came to power after the Russian occupation of Hungary. In 1956, after the collapse of the Hungarian Revolution, the Russians were searching for his father to arrest and to execute him. Jozsef’s family fled to Austria and eventually immigrated to the United States in 1957. His father brought with him the cookbooks and recipes from his restaurant, which Jozsef guards and cherishes to this day.
The family settled in Cleveland, Ohio where Jozsef was raised and educated. Jozsef became a prominent attorney in Cleveland, but he never forgot his heritage and his love for Hungarian cuisine. Throughout the years he cooked his favorite dish, Csirke Paprikas (Chicken Paprikash), for family, friends and charitable and civic events.
In 2008, on a whim, he entered the Cleveland Paprikash Cook-Off with 30 other contestants. Jozsef’s Chicken Paprikash won the popular vote by a landslide. He was bombarded with questions from event attendees as to where they may be able to eat or buy his chicken paprikash. One gentleman suggested that he produce a sauce so that they can make and eat at home. At the time, Jozsef thought it was impossible since cooking chicken paprikash was a 3-5 hour process.
However, Jozsef toyed with the idea for the next two years and much to his surprise he was able to develop a formula and a manufacturing process which recreated his award-winning chicken paprikash. And JOZSEF’S PREMIUM PAPRIKASH SAUCE was born!!