Recently, the number of Covid-19 infections in Berlin has dropped significantly and more and more people are getting vaccinated. After more than five months, restaurants in Berlin reopened their open air seating for guests with a negative corona test result no older than 24 hours. From June 4, customers without a test can use the outdoor dining facilities and indoor dining will reopen for tested and vaccinated customers. The beautiful weather will guarantee crowded beer gardens and cafés.
Since last spring, we have interviewed Japanese restaurateurs, chefs and food workers in Berlin to ask them about their experiences during the two lockdowns since March 2020. This week I had the chance to talk to Chie who is a pastry chef. She moved to Berlin in 2012 and since then has worked in different Japanese restaurants were she was mostly responsible for desserts and pastry. She creates matcha tiramisu, mochi and other delicious sweets. For several years, she has been working in an Italien pastry shop and also continued her work for Japanese restaurants and catering activities.
Throughout the pandemic, the pastry shop Chie works for remained open for takeout. In Summer 2020 and before the second lockdown that began in November, they also received some catering orders again. Chie worked reduced hours, but didn’t experience great financial loss due to Kurzarbeitergeld (short-term work allowance) and a generous boss. She said she didn’t need much money during the pandemic, because she usually spends it on travel and dining out. Both was impossible during the last year.
One thing Chie is looking forward to when restaurants reopen is to create Japanese desserts again for Japanese restaurants. Although many Japanese restaurants offered takeout services during the pandemic, they didn’t sell desserts to go. Remembering Chie’s great desserts and pastries sold in Japanese restaurants in the past, we can’t wait for the full reopening of Japanese restaurants in Berlin and to enjoy yuzu tiramisu again!
Chie during our online interview and two of her creations: matcha roll and yuzu tiramisu