Podcast Episode 73

Coming to America: My Father’s Pursuit of Pride, Happiness, and Hospitality

Josef Bachmann | 38 Minutes | December 20, 2022

In today’s episode, we speak with my father and hero, Josef Bachmann, who reflects on his ‘journeyman to Meisterbrief’ experience.

From Bavaria to Düsseldorf to Frankfurt and beyond, Chef Bachmann’s story is rooted in humble beginnings. We talk about his childhood growing up around pastry chefs, becoming a baker, and ultimately how he convinced his wife to leave Europe and migrate to America to raise a young family—and buy a bakery.

Listen as Chef Bachmann talks about memories of life in Europe working with pastries, mastering his craft, his family, and the pursuit of pride, happiness, and hospitality.

Watch the podcast episode:

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Notes & Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Kirk Bachmann: Hi everyone, my name is Kirk Bachmann, and welcome back to The Ultimate Dish, our holiday episode. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Josef Bachmann about his journey through apprenticeship, as a journeyman, and ultimately the achievement of Meister Brief. I’m honored to chat with my father and my hero today.

I hope you enjoy what I consider to be a thoughtful memoir of my father’s career. Chef Bachmann’s story is an honest and revealing portrait of humble beginnings to finding a place of pride, happiness, and hospitality. My father’s story is a beautiful one about a child, a baker, and ultimately, an entrepreneur and his travels and experiences across Germany, and his ultimate migration to America, and eventual trek to the mountains of Colorado.

From Bavaria to Dusseldorf to Frankfurt and beyond, join me today as I chat with my dad – and my mom – about the art of baking and the journey of apprenticeship to journeyman to Meister.

And there they are. Hi, Dad. Hi, Mom.

Josef Bachmann: Hi.

Kirk Bachmann: I hear Mom there next to you. Hi, Mom. You can stick your head in there.

Marlis Bachmann: Hi, Kirk.

Early Life in Germany

Kirk Bachmann: I’m pretty excited to have you on the show today, Dad. Really excited. I promise to keep my emotions in check. You’ve shared some really wonderful stories over the years. I’m excited to focus our discussion today on your journey through two generations – your grandfather, your father – of bakers. Then your travels to America to become an entrepreneur in the hotel business with Mom.

To start it all off, let’s go all the way to back. Hopefully I say it correctly, but I understand you were born in Katzengiebel. Am I saying that right?

Josef Bachmann: Katzengiebel.

Kirk Bachmann: Now that’s also the area of Bohemia, right?

Josef Bachmann: Yeah.

Kirk Bachmann: We would know that as southeast Germany. Small village. Tell us about your grandpa, when he started the bakery, and then we’ll walk through that to present day.

Josef Bachmann: All I can tell you about my grandpa, I just remember he was in the First World War. He came back. He just was…. But he started a bakery. That’s what I heard from my grandma. He had a brother. He actually was a twin brother.

To come back to the bakery, my dad took over the bakery. He was running the bakery until 1944. In April, they called him; he had to go into the war. ‘44. In October, the last push to Stalingrad, he was killed in Stalingrad. My grandma and my mom would keep on baking.

In the area where Tsingtao, there were a lot of prisons from the Germans for the Polish, the Hungarians, the Czechs. When the Americans took over, all those prisons were opened up, and all those people were so hungry. They all were looking for something to eat. Naturally, they went to the bakery. I think that’s the only way we were still alive, because my mom and grandma were able to bake bread for them.

Kirk Bachmann: So the bakery was still open after we lost Grandpa.

Josef Bachmann: The Czechs took over the bakery and told us to get out, and so we were driven out of our house. We were loaded up, and we ended in a railroad car for a couple of week. Then we ended up in Taustadt, a mine that’s in Unterfranken.

Kirk Bachmann: So for our audience, we’ve now moved from the eastern part of Germany, and now you’re in Bavaria, south of Munich area?

Josef Bachmann: No, actually west of Munich.

Kirk Bachmann: West of Munich. Okay. A family took you in, a farmer.

Josef Bachmann: They were forced to take us in. Every town in Bavaria had to take so many of the people what [sic] were driven out.

Kirk Bachmann: Who was with your family at this time then?

Josef Bachmann: My oldest brother – he was three years older than I – my two sisters, my grandma, and my mom. I have to say, the people were very nice. Can I come back to my father’s family one more time?

Kirk Bachmann: Yeah.

Josef Bachmann: My father had a great family. He had two brothers and two sisters. I’m still in contact with all the nieces from those guys. I’m so glad that we’re still in contact and we’re still telling stories about it. Okay, go ahead.

Kirk Bachmann: Okay, Dad! Tell us about life on the farm. You’re, what, nine years old?

Josef Bachmann: I was eight and nine years old. That’s another story. The son of the farmer what [sic] took us in, he was a prisoner in New York by the Americans. He came home at that time while we were living there. The first thing he said to my brother and to me, “Come on the wagon.” He would take the two horses, and we would go out on the farm. He wanted to see his farm when he came back home.

Kirk Bachmann: Did you enjoy that time on the farm?

Josef Bachmann: I was a boy, and I loved the outside and I loved the farms and things. I always had something to eat because they treated us nice.

Kirk Bachmann: Did Grandma continue to encourage you? The bakery is closed. You’ve left the bakery. You’re on the farm. Is Grandma still encouraging you to learn the trade?

Josef Bachmann: Yes. Well, it was my mom. She said I had to learn the baker’s trade in case we were coming back home again. “You have to run the bakery.”

Apprenticeship and the Mountains

Kirk Bachmann: Before you went to Wurzburg and you were on the farm, how old were you when you then decided to go to Wurzburg?

Josef Bachmann: I was 14 years old. The farmer I worked for last, he had relatives in Wurzburg what [sic] had a bakery. They were looking for cheap labor. They were telling them about me. I was introduced to the people in Wurzburg, and they said I could go into apprenticeship.

Kirk Bachmann: So now it’s 1950. You’ve told me that your apprenticeship actually started on August 1, 1950.

Josef Bachmann: I did three years. There was some learning. I knew all the things: how to roll a roll and bread and, and brundadeick and breadadeick a deick, but I didn’t learn much of the fine bakery.

Kirk Bachmann: So you stayed at one place in Wurzburg for your entire apprenticeship?

Josef Bachmann: I actually stayed an extra year. I stayed four years there.

Kirk Bachmann: What was the name of that facility, that bakery?

Josef Bachmann: Bäckerie Paulus. P-A-U-L-U-S.

Kirk Bachmann: That’s very formal. Did you go to Stuttgart after Wurzburg, then?

Josef Bachmann: The way it came, I went to the barber, and I was reading the paper. There was an ad in there that they were looking for bakers at $65 a week – 65 marks. At that time in Wurzburg, I made 35, so almost I doubled it. I went home and told my boss, “I have to look out for myself.” He said, “Then it’s time for you to leave and start wandering.”

So I went to Stuttgart, and I got the job. I worked there for a year. That bakery was actually a factory.

Marlis Bachmann: Bread factory.

Josef Bachmann: Big ovens, enormous, what they did at that time already. Stuttgart is such a beautiful city. I remember that, Stuttgart, beautiful. I have such nice memories from Stuttgart.

From there, we were unloading flour – 200-pound bags of flour – and I got a hernia. I had an operation, and after the operation I went home. I stayed home for a couple of weeks, and then I went to Frankfurt. At Frankfurt I got a job – actually, a small town outside of Frankfurt, Gros-Gerau. I worked there for a year. It was alright, but I didn’t learn much there. They did just the regular stuff what everybody else does.

Kirk Bachmann: When did Garmisch? It was Garmisch after Frankfurt?

Josef Bachmann: I went on the train and went down to Munich. At first I went to Mittenwald. It’s a small town in the mountains. I love the mountains. I worked there for four weeks, but he didn’t give us much to eat, so I left there.

I went to Garmisch.

Kirk Bachmann: And so people know, Garmisch is a very big ski resort in Bavaria.

Josef Bachmann: Garmisch-Patenkirchen, where the Olympics were in ‘36.

Kirk Bachmann: What are some of the mountains that you’ve told me about that are in that area?

Josef Bachmann: The boys what I worked with at the bakery in Garmisch, they were mountain climbers. We went up to Zugspitze, die Alpspitze, and Dreitorspitze. We went to the Königssee and went up there on the wall. You have to go by boat up to the mountains, get out of the boat to climb up the mountains.

Kirk Bachmann: I just love it. I’ve seen those pictures.

After that season, is that when you took the motorcycle to Hamburg?

Josef Bachmann: A buddy of mine, we worked there together. He had a motorcycle. It was a BMW 124.

Kirk Bachmann: Both of you on it?

Josef Bachmann: Both of us on. We went to the Lüneburg Heide, where his parents lived. They were so nice and took us in. Then, from there, we went to Hamburg. He had a job already in Hamburg, and I was looking for one. There was nothing open, so I put my name down to go on the ship as a baker, but my ship didn’t come in. So I called my friend in Stuttgart and in Dusseldorf. He was working in Dusseldorf. He was my school friend from grade school.

Kirk Bachmann: Is that Herman?

Josef Bachmann: Herman. He was going to America. He said, “Come and take my job here in Dusseldorf.” So I went on the train, went to Dusseldorf, and worked for a couple of weeks in a small bakery. Then I worked for them. Those people were so good.

Five Marks for the Movie

Kirk Bachmann: Let me give you a really easy question first. You better get it right. Who was the most important person that you met in Dusseldorf?

Josef Bachmann: Wow!

Marlis Bachmann: Better say the right thing now.

Kirk Bachmann: You better say Mom.

Josef Bachmann: That story is coming, now. That story is coming, now.

Kirk Bachmann: Alright. Go ahead.

Josef Bachmann: I worked there for two years, and I made good money there. I had a chance to make my Meister Brief, and I made it. A buddy I worked with who was studying for the Meister Brief, he worked in a bakery where my future wife was working. I was studying with him, and that’s where we met, in that bakery. The first thing I said to her, “If I were to have some money, we could go to the movie.” She said, “I’ll borrow you five marks.” So we went.

Kirk Bachmann: Was that Bemers? Or was that a different bakery?

Josef Bachmann: What’s the name of your bakery?

Marlis Bachmann: I don’t know. Name Schauenburg?

Josef Bachmann: Schauenburg?

The Meister Brief

Kirk Bachmann: Mom worked out front, and then you worked in the back, and she lent you money. She still lends you money. I want to come back before we get too far away from Meister Brief. For our students and other listeners, as I understand it and as I’ve read it over the years, it’s a funny story. You never told any of us that you had made your Meister Brief. When we were moving in Colorado – fast forward – I found the Meister Brief in the closet. Tell us about what’s involved with earning a Meister Brief.

Josef Bachmann: The reason you make a Meister Brief: my [goal] was the go to America, work for ten years, save some money, and come back and open up a bakery in Germany. The way it worked out in Germany, you have to have a Meister Brief in order to open up a bakery and in order to teach apprentices at their new trade. So that was my reason to make the Meister Brief. I had a good chance because I lived in a Catholic YMCA. They had all these different programs for all the different trades. I had a good chance to do it there. I met a lot of good people.

Kirk Bachmann: You have to study for this exam.

Josef Bachmann: I had to study everything going back to flour, sugar, everything, how it is to put together, what it does when it gets in the dough, what it does when it is in the dough. Those were all the questions that could come to you when you were questioned.

Kirk Bachmann: What I thought was fascinating: when you’re ready for the exam, you have several – as many as six – Obermeisters who have to test you on everything.

Josef Bachmann: Each of us had to go in singly. There were six Obermeisters sitting there. Each of them had two questions for each of the guys that took the [Meister Brief].

Kirk Bachmann: The candidates. Yeah.

Josef Bachmann: I guess they actually said to me, “We wish you luck to go to America.”

Kirk Bachmann: They were supportive.

Josef Bachmann: They were very supportive. When I had to do the…

Marlis Bachmann: The written exam.

Josef Bachmann: The written exam, you had to do all the calculations, what you have to do in the bakery…

Marlis Bachmann: To make money.

Josef Bachmann: To make money and things like that. Everything came out to a penny. I remember so good, that was a relief. At that time, my wife and I got close, got close to each other. She actually gave me one of the Zucker so I had energy to go in there.

Kirk Bachmann: Sugar. You gave him sugar.

Marlis Bachmann: Glucose tablets.

Kirk Bachmann: We’ll go back and forth a little bit. You complete the exam, however you were too young to receive the certificate. You have to be 26 years old to actually receive it, right?

Josef Bachmann: Yeah.

Kirk Bachmann: And by then, you were in America. When you turned 26, they actually sent you the certificate from Germany.

Josef Bachmann: Yeah.

Kirk Bachmann: That’s fascinating. Can you go back and talk just a little bit about Herman, a little bit, how much he helped you in your career?

Josef Bachmann: Herman was my buddy from grade school. He actually was the first kid to talk to me when we were coming from Katzengiebel into that town. He was born in the town where we went to, and he started talking to me. I became an altar boy, and they included me in all the different things, the soccer team and all that stuff. It was a good town. It was a little town of 650 people. Everybody knew each other. I could walk in any of the farmhouses and sit down at the table for dinner, because they all knew me. If they needed somebody, they’d ask me if I could help, and I was always helping. I just loved the years we were there.

We forgot one important thing: when my wife said, “I’ll give you five dollars and we can go to the movie,” I said, “Before we go any further here, I’m going to go to America. I’ve got a reason to go to America.” And she said, “I’ll go with you.”

Kirk Bachmann: You must have been pretty impressive back then. Or you needed that five bucks, right?

Marlis Bachmann: I never got my five bucks back, either.

Experience in American Bakeries

Kirk Bachmann: I don’t think you have.

Let’s talk about coming to America and the things that you were worried about. You had to go to Mom’s parents house. You didn’t bring Mom right away. You went first by yourself.

Josef Bachmann: We went to Sauerland and I met Mom’s parents. They’re very northern German. They are very cool. They don’t do no hugging, no kissing and things like that. When I see my mother-in-law the first time, I just put my arms around her. She didn’t know what happened to her.

Kirk Bachmann: So Mom’s 18 at this time, and you’re 24. You’re getting ready to come to America.

Josef Bachmann: They had to actually give her –

Marlis Bachmann: Permission.

Josef Bachmann: Permission that she was able to go.

Marlis Bachmann: I wasn’t old enough.

Kirk Bachmann: So when you got to America, you’ve told me the story that you arrived in America in Chicago on a Friday night at 7 o’clock. By Sunday, midnight, you were working. Burny Brothers.

Josef Bachmann: Burny Brothers. I was working at Dinkel’s Bakery on Lincoln Avenue.

Marlis Bachmann: Dinkel’s.

Josef Bachmann: Dinkel’s.

Kirk Bachmann: Dinkel’s opened in 1922. Classic German bakery in Chicago.

Josef Bachmann: From there, I went to Burny Brothers. I met a lot of the Germans what worked there. They were not bakers. They just worked on the machine, things like that. I got to know Joe Slawitschka. I got to know Horst.

When my wife came over a year later.

Marlis Bachmann: Months later.

Josef Bachmann: To go back first to working in the bakery, I didn’t have no problem. I knew what to do. I see things what shouldn’t happen and things like that. But a year later my wife came over, and we moved into a small apartment by a family from Austria in the basement. We moved over across the street, where all our friends were living. We had an apartment. Our son, Kirk, the chef, was born.

Kirk Bachmann: Oh, that’s me! I do want to point out, you mentioned the Slawitschka’s, the Muenxe’s. You don’t hear these stories for over 60 years, the original people that you met – the Freeburg’s, the Muenxe’s, the Slawitschka’s, and the Bachmann’s have been together in business and family and in life. It’s unbelievable. Beautiful story.

Talk a little bit about Dinkel’s and then you ended up at Lutz’s, which is still open today on Montrose in Chicago. You were there for eight years at Lutz’s, classic bakery.

Josef Bachmann: Well, there are some stories in between there. I worked there for four years, and I got very sick. I had caught rheumatic fever. We had decided to go back to Germany.

Kirk Bachmann: That’s when I was one or two years old, right?

Josef Bachmann: We went. We had enough money to fly back to Frankfurt. We rented a Volkswagon. We went out on the Autobahn, stopped and had lunch. I get out of the Volkswagen and the rheumatic fever was gone. That was a miracle by itself, because I was suffering for six months in Chicago. I couldn’t go to work.

We stayed for three months in Germany. We had enough money to buy a ticket to go on the Old Berlin, one of the oldest ships what were crossing the ocean.

Marlis Bachmann: Eleven days.

Josef Bachmann: Eleven days. Everybody got sick. Everybody was walking around with a paper bag. I was playing soccer with the sailors on top. The hardest thing was when the ship got away from Germany, from Bremen, that was the hardest thing.

Kirk Bachmann: To say goodbye to Germany again.

You come right back to Chicago, and your friends are still there. Did you go back to Lutz’s right away? They took you right back in?

Josef Bachmann: I got my job back. We got a new apartment in a two-flat. We were working.

Kirk Bachmann: What year is this now?

Marlis Bachmann: 1964

Buying in to Ackermann’s Bakery

Kirk Bachmann: Right before our Caroline comes along.

Josef Bachmann: We were a happy family. There never was enough money. Actually, my wife would do work at the same bakery, Burny Brothers. We worked together in the same bakery. Then the opportunity came. There was a job open in the German bakery, the Lutz’s pastry shop. I worked there another four years for Lutz’s. Then I started looking if I could open up my own bakery.

Since I bought all the material for the bakery there where I was a mixer, I told them, “If you hear something of a bakery for sale, let me know.” It came about that Ackermann’s bakery was for sale. I watched a bakery for a couple of weeks: how many customers go in and out. I gave Mrs. Ackermann a call. She said, “Come and see us.”

We talked about it. It came about that we worked something out. They took us in as partner.

Kirk Bachmann: The best part of that story is Mr. and Mrs. Ackermann wanted to take you in and they asked you what you had to offer. What did you say?

Josef Bachmann: She asked me what I had, how much money I had. I said, “I don’t have no money. I just have my two hands and what I have between my ears.” She said, “Come and see us.”

I have to say, that was a good time, those years in the bakery under Irving & Austin. When Caroline went to school, Kirk went to school – the grade school at St. Alphonsus Catholic School.

Marlis Bachmann: No. St. Pascal’s.

Kirk Bachmann: Right down the street, St. Pascal’s.

Talk about Ackermann’s, and then the decision to make yet another big move. Germany to America. You’re happy in America, like you say, but something continued to pull not only you but the Muenxes and the Slawitschkas and the Freeburgs, your friends. Talk a little bit about moving west.

Josef Bachmann: First of all, I have to say about the bakery: I had to remodel that whole bakery because in existed since 1936. Everything was old. The machinery, everything was old. I remodeled that whole bakery. That was such a joy to do to something like that. It was a joy seeing the people come to buy what you’re baking. That neighborhood was all European people from Hungary, Germany, Russia, and Polish. They all walked to the bakery for a coffeecake. The priest in church would say, “Don’t hurry; there’s enough coffeecakes at the bakery.”

Kirk Bachmann: Wow! And there was no parking, so you had to rely on the community and the neighborhood.

Josef Bachmann: We were working very hard. I have to give my wife [credit]. She was 28 at that time. I said to here, “I bought a bakery.” She said, “Are you out of your mind?

Marlis Bachmann: What do you want with it? You have no money!

Kirk Bachmann: My two hands.

Josef Bachmann: Another nice thing before we leave Chicago. I loved to buy cars and trade in cars. My first car was a ‘47 Plymouth. How proud I was when I bought that car. And the next morning.

Marlis Bachmann: It had four flat tires.

The Colorado Hotel Business

Kirk Bachmann: Let’s talk a little bit about what motivated you to take the family all the way west to Colorado.

Josef Bachmann: First of all, the reason was…yes, I have to say it.

Marlis Bachmann: No, no.

Josef Bachmann: You had problem with your feet. You couldn’t stand 10, 12, 16 hours on your feet anymore. So our friend, Jim Freeburg and Joe Slawitschka, they moved to Colorado. Jim moved to Montrose, Colorado, and Joe moved to Erie, Colorado, and both bought a motel. When Jim seen [sic] how Joe was running a motel, he said, “That’s something for me.”

So he was thinking of me. He came back and said, “We’re going to find a motel, and we’ll buy a motel for you, and you’ll run the motel.” That’s when he came and said, “I found a motel in Gunnison, Colorado.” We had to fly to Gunnison.

Marlis Bachmann: No, you drove.

Josef Bachmann: We drove first.

Kirk Bachmann: You and I drove, and then Mom and Caroline came after.

Josef Bachmann: Before that, we looked at it. We visited Joe.

Kirk Bachmann: Talk a little bit about the combination of excitement and also fear to go all the way and inherit a big hotel, a restaurant. You’d never been in the restaurant business before.

Josef Bachmann: First of all, you’ve got to have the money to go and buy a motel. A motel is a very seasonal business. When we bought the motel, everything looked good. Then the Iraq war came up, and gasoline went up to $5-$6 a [gallon]. Nobody would go on vacation. I was standing in the restaurant and looked out on Highway 50 and said, “Where are the people?”

Kirk Bachmann: The beauty of that story that we don’t talk about a lot is that for 20 years, we had the Tomichi Village in Gunnison. We learned a lot. Alex and Kirsten were born in Gunnison. Then you sold that property to another European family.

Josef Bachmann: First, I wanted to say that you came two or three times and ran the restaurant for us, put some new ideas in the restaurant. You always had to go back to see your family in Oregon. Our daughter, Caroline, she was working in San Diego. Then they came and helped us in Gunnison, in the motel. I always ask, “Is it worth it? Or do you want to go back to Oregon or San Diego?” And they gave me the reasons. The three things to sell the motel.

We advertised that we’re going to sell. That was 20 years. A Polish family – a father, mother, son-in-law – about six people came, and all in their leather coats. It looked like the Chicago mafia. They stand out. They know, I told them out. They were standing in the parking lot, and I said, “They’re going to buy it.” And they did a great job.

Kirk Bachmann: And they ran it for another 20 years.

Josef Bachmann: No, they ran it for ten years, and now they are in Prescott, Arizona in another motel.

Marlis Bachmann: Two.

Kirk Bachmann: Let’s talk about that entrepreneurial spirit which never really goes away. Kirk went off and became a culinary educator. Caroline was in San Diego. But another opportunity presented itself in another mountain town which was a couple hours away called Buena Vista, Colorado. Tell us a little bit about what happened there.

Josef Bachmann: I knew that motel was built. We drove by there once. I actually didn’t like the way…

Marlis Bachmann: The colors.

Josef Bachmann: The stonework and all that stuff. But here come a phone call from one of the Polish fellows that bought the motel in Gunnison. He called me and said, “Joe, can you borrow me $400,000?”

I said, “Stay and leave! I had $400,000. What do you want to do with it?”

He said, “I want to buy a motel. There’s a motel for sale in Buena Vista.”

I said, “Well, I don’t have the money to give it to you.” But then a light went off in my head and I said, “Let’s go back to Buena Vista and see if that motel is there.”

Marlis Bachmann: So we bought it.

Josef Bachmann: We came on the last day when it was on the market.

Kirk Bachmann: And here we are 20 years later. Caroline raised her entire family there.

Josef Bachmann: 44 years old. 23 years ago. My God, where did those years go?

Many Things to be Proud Of

Kirk Bachmann: Let me ask you real quick, Dad, before we get too far away from the adventures in Germany and then Lutz’s and Ackermann’s. What would you say you’re most proud of?

Josef Bachmann: I still have to say, I’m proud of the motels what we bought. I was very proud, my trade, when I had the bakery in Chicago because I knew I was able to run a bakery. It was my father’s trade, and it was my grandfather’s trade. I was very proud of that. But I have to be proud of my wife. She helped me so much in everything. And I have to be proud of my son. He really made it in the culinary education. And the daughter, Caroline, and her husband running a motel in Buena Vista. That’s another story. No, it has to come. She was working…

Kirk Bachmann: It’s okay, Mom.

Josef Bachmann: She was working in San Diego.

Kirk Bachmann: She worked for Marriott for a decade, so she brought a lot to the business as well.

Josef Bachmann: She called me and she said –

Kirk Bachmann: And so was Brent.

Josef Bachmann: -that if you find another motel, we’re going to run it for you. That’s the way it ended up. I bought the motel in Buena Vista, and they came, and I went in retirement.

Products to Market

Kirk Bachmann: I don’t know that you’ve ever fully retired.

What advice, Dad, do you have for young culinarians and people that want to go into this business, whether they want to be a baker or work in the hotel business? What advice would you have?

Josef Bachmann: If you’re financially able to start your own business, or if you have a product, that’s the only thing. What I was always looking for was to take a product [to] the market. All the things are different. In the bakery in Chicago, I had 134 items in the store. If I just could take one of those items and put them on the market, but since I came from Germany and I didn’t have the financial support to do something like that. That is something for young people today with the internet, and the way they do that. All you need is a good item what you produce and put it on the market. That can make your life much happier.

Holiday Favorites

Kirk Bachmann: Great advice, Dad. Since we’re talking about items, this is our holiday issue. Can you talk a little bit about some of your favorite? Obviously, you still make Stollen every year. You’ve talked about some of the cookies from Lutz’s and the Baumkuchen. Can you talk about some of your favorites?

Josef Bachmann: My favorite I still make, I still have to make one, that’s the Stollen. It’s actually, I would say, it’s a German fruit bread, but it’s not as solid as the American fruitcake. It is a mixture of quite a bit of butter and sugar. It gets mixed with eggs and milk and flour. You make a dough, and then you put the fruit in there, and nuts, and all different food [what] you think you can put in there. Most of them are just putting in raisins and nuts and almonds in there. But it is a delicate dish.

Then I have the Spitzkuchen. It’s a chocolate pepper-nut filled with jellies. Then they have the Dominostein. That’s a bun and pepper-nut filled, glazed with chocolate over. ThenSpekulatius It’s an almond dough and it has to be pressed out on a –

Marlis Bachmann: Form.

Josef Bachmann: – on a form. It’s like upper roll. There’s the pictures in the form, and you go over the dough. That’s the way you cut them out.

Josef and Marlis Bachmann’s Ultimate Dish

Kirk Bachmann: While we’re talking about those – and Mom you can get in here, too. We can see your shoulder, but we can’t see your beautiful face. Get in the camera. Hi Mom.

The name of the podcast is the Ultimate Dish. We talked about this a little bit the other day. If it’s a baked good, or a pastry, or cake, or a torte. In your mind, what is the ultimate dish?

Josef Bachmann: What we served in the restaurant?

Kirk Bachmann: Well, just in your mind. I know you love Sachertorte and have eaten the Sachertorte at Hotel Sacher, but you weren’t that impressed with it. Black Forest torte is one that you’ve always talked about. If you had to pick one, what would be the ultimate?

Josef Bachmann: I would say the Black Forest cake or a cheese whipped cream cake.

Marlis Bachmann: Black Forest cake.

Josef Bachmann: Black Forest cake. It’s a chocolate layer and a yellow layer cut in half. The first filling is, first of all you put that Kirschwasser on top of the other layer. With chocolate buttercream, you make two rings on top of the things. Then you put cherries in between that. Then you put a white layer on there and you do the same thing. You put the chocolate layer on top, and another filling, and that’s where you put the cap on there. You ice it up and then put chocolate shavings on there and almonds on the sides. Then you put the –

Marlis Bachmann: Maraschino cherries.

Josef Bachmann: Whipped cream rosettes on there, and then maraschino cherries.

Kirk Bachmann: Thank you so much, Mom and Dad. You guys did absolutely great. I love you very much. When I think about your kids here in America, six grandkids, three great-grandkids, we have a lot to be thankful for.

Josef Bachmann: We started out with two; now we’re at 17.

Kirk Bachmann: I love you guys. Thanks so much.

Marlis Bachmann: Love you.

Josef Bachmann: I hope somebody gets some joy out of it.

Kirk Bachmann: I think that’s going to happen. Happy holidays. I’ll see you guys in a couple weeks.

Marlis Bachmann: Okay.

Josef Bachmann: Thank you.

Kirk Bachmann: Love you.

And thank you for listening to the Ultimate Dish podcast, brought to you by Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Visit escoffier.edu/podcast, where you’ll find any materials mentioned during the podcast, including notes, links and other resources. You can also browse other episodes and subscribe.

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