Like a lucky Dream
by
Jochen Kern

Switzerland / Zuerich 1971

THE LAKE CHAPTER

Mr. Hohl was the owner and the general manager of the Fischtube Zurichhorn in Zurich, a restaurant built on beams in the lake of Zurich.

He employed me in 1971 as a Poissonier, which is fish cook, for the following summer. He was the best boss-owner, I ever had experienced in my profession - outstanding personality, generous in payment of salary, very sociable and open-minded towards any problems.

We worked in a multi-national kitchen. The crew consisted of two Japanese, one Egyptian, two Italians, two Germans, one Spaniard and one Swiss Executive Chef. We were a perfect team although our Japanese Entremetier, which is a vegetable cook, had a small problem with the language.

For example, potato was a carrot. Besides, the Saucier, a Muslim, was unable to savour food during the Ramadhan. All this provided in the kitchen, a perfect harmony. Our Swiss Chef from Bern had a little headache with the waiter. He tried to speed things up in the service by pushing the food directly form the kitchen through a closed window in the restaurant.

Mr. Hohl gave him two days off, took over his job and everything was okay again. Outstanding! I never forgot, a particular day in this beautiful business season when we entered the kitchen. Mr.Hohl sent us all out. Surprisingly, we found the Feldschlosschen, Zurich’s famous brewery, beer boat with draft beer anchored on the lake - "No work! Enjoy yourself today! Don’t come back if any beer is left in the barrel," were his only words. He had employed a one-day kitchen brigade to replace us. Amazing, how socializing and work can be brought together and get people more motivated. Super!

There was also a Mrs.Kohler who was my house mate in Zurich. An elder, retired woman whose only joy was of entertaining people. This lady from Moosstrasse No.9 surprised me in the mornings with fresh croissant and coffee, checked on my wake-up calls, invited me at night to watch TV and offered me beer. A really great lady who was fed up of being alone.

One night, we wee sitting and watching television, the program was "Comissa X", at that time a famous television series, while drinking beer. After the program ended, I tried to wake Mrs. Kohler up but there wasn’t a slightest movement from this seventy-five year old lady. I touched her shoulders and still no movement.

What happened?

I ran to the owner’s house, two street away and alarmed them. We called the doctor who stated that Mrs. Kohler had passed away. The owner’s wife, Mrs. Leibundgut, and myself was shocked and cried silently.

We discussed the plans for the next day - when Mrs. Kohler suddenly opened her eyes and was a delighted to see so many guests. We were happy that she was not dead, only the doctor looked unhappy... more like a little dummy.

 

The local Recipe

EGLI FILLET IN ALMOND BUTTER

MARINATE RIVER PEARCH FILLET WITH LEMON, L&P SAUCE AND SALT, FOLD IN FLOUR AND PAN-FRY IN BUTTER TILL GOLDEN BROWN. PLACE ON PLATE AND SAUTE IN SAME BUTTER, SLICED ALMOND TILL GOLDEN BROWN. NAP THE FISH FILLET WITH THE ALMOND AND NOW VERY TASTY BUTTER. GARNISH WITH PARSLEY AND LEMON STAR AND SERVE WITH BOILED POTATOES.

 

I COOKED DAILY ALL ROUND MAYBE 200-500 PORTION OF THIS ZURICH SPECIAL FISH DISH.

 

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