GESCHNETZELTES À L’ ARCHER
Every year around autumn time, a group of gourmets met in a hotel-restaurant in a small village in Central Switzerland.
On this day, the restaurant was closed to the public and exclusively used for this private event. They wanted to stay among themselves to enjoy a very special creation that was served to them every year: ‘Geschnetzeltes à l ‘Archer’ (Zurich-style veal stew – archer style).
They did not know much about each other and they just came together once a year on this special occasion. It was a mutual pleasure to savor a very special dish, always served in new and surprising creations, and also the wine and the other courses were presented in different variations.
The group of food lovers became aware of this rare opportunity through an advertisement in a supra-regional newspaper. The guests always slept in the same rooms, located above the restaurant and there were no other visitors during these days.
Over the years, the group steadily diminished in numbers. Nothing was said about those who no longer attended, yet the guests may have speculated as to their fate, but they were certain about one thing: There must have been serious circumstances that prevented their attendance and to miss such an opportunity.
Often asked, why he did not invite new guests into the circle, the innkeeper replied: “I am running my little restaurant only occasionally, more as a hobby, after many years of hard working. When this group does not exist anymore, I will definitively retire for good.”
Victor Pavlovski, a native of Macedonia, came to Switzerland many years ago. After working his way up in the noble restaurants of the country, he had purchased a former tavern in a small village, which he had renamed ‘Hôtel-Restaurant Victor’.
A beautiful longbow hung on the wall of the restaurant and, next to it, a quiver with arrows, graced with feathers in the Swiss national colors, red and white. Whenever somebody asked Victor about this bow, he steadily repeated: “Some time ago, I often shoot this bow in my spare time, but today I do not have the strength anymore.”
Every year, when the guests were about to depart, he secretly gave one of them a small envelope. Inside this envelope was a message that asked the recipient to come a day earlier next year to help and select the wine, but under the condition of complete secrecy.
Again, that year, the special guest punctually arrived one day before the meal. He certainly did not want to miss this honorable task...