And then I didn't pay attention for a moment. The roulade with herbs and chunk is pulled away from me in front of the nose. The chin-length blond hair blows as sonja stubinger turns around again, holds my plate in her hand and grins as she places it on the waitress's tray. It's my first ten minutes as a helper at the rooster fryer in the stadel, so mistakes can still happen. The chives, says sonja, reaching into the gray container next to the cake peephole, from which my roulade from earlier is just coming again, the chives are the love. "It always has to come with me, she laughs and sprinkles a bit of it on the chunk.
Two meters further back andreas hering has taken the spit out of the oven. The six roosters on it still crackle. With his purple cap and black chef's jacket with a white collar peeking out of the neckline, he looks like a bishop. He reverently slides one of the roosters onto the wooden board under the sideboard with the plates. Then he puts the spit back in the top row of oven number four. One oven further the knuckles turn towards their brown final state. The heat from the oven doesn't make it over the middle counter with the piles of plates; the bread and the lettuce leaf with the tomato are already ready on the top ones.
"Schnipo and a gwichsta
A small world with its own language: schnitzel with french fries "schnipo, the dish of the day, roulade with herbs and dumplings, simply "tag". Because grilled knuckles and horseradish knuckles are becoming more and more similar, at least acoustically, in the background noise of a marquee, the grilled knuckle becomes a "bone and make a "gwichsta" out of boiled knuckle of pork with sea radish.
It's always been like that, laughs sonja stubinger. For 14 years she has stood at the rooster stand during beer week. A change from the normal catering business, says the 32-year-old service manager from the gasthof frankenfarm in himmelkron. "Schnipo, once a day and three gwichsta", roars sonja into the pie hole. The beer festival lasts nine days, and she's hoarse after the first.
Sometimes even the roar is no longer enough, then there are only signs: a flick of the elbow, then half a rooster on the plate. A horizontal hand movement and the baked ham comes in the semmel. Twist your arms over each other once, like in soccer, and the roulade comes in a styrofoam container to take home.
18 plates and no more
Gerti, the waitress, slides her sled onto the counter between the two cash registers. It still slips, when she loses the wash clip of her dirndl carrier and arranges the notes with the orders stuck under it. Then gerti gets going, michaela taps and the receipt that comes out of the top of the cash register gets longer and longer.
At the fifth dish I no longer know what the first was. At some point michaela rubs off the receipt, puts it next to the cash register, I'm just about to take it, when thomas turns to the right and brulls the second half of the order into the cake peephole. The first seven orders had already been passed on to the rooster front behind him. The receipt in my hand disappears in the mulleimer. It's all a matter of practice, he says.
It's his second beer festival; he actually works as a house technician at the frankenfarm. Last year he was still responsible for the supply in the underground car park. Then sonja stubinger heard him once scream: "he can roar, he must go upstairs."
And he should be right, concerning the practice: already the next order with 14 dishes I have brewed flawlessly from the head into the kitchen: "14 day please". Fluenced by the sovereign handling of the last rough order on my part, the next hour blurs into a single moment. You only notice that the band is taking a break when the scream in the kitchen is suddenly too loud. That my legs ache only when I stop, that I am on the verge of dying of thirst when someone hands me a glass of water.
Around 2500 meals go out on weekdays. Sundays up to 4000. The rough part leaves the kuche between four and eight.
Andreas hering grins as he comes around the corner behind the counter and pulls up the zipper on his chef's jacket. Three times a day he changes his clothes. It's just after two, the first time. When he puts on his gloves, the first bead of sweat rolls down his cheek under the rimless glasses again. It evaporates before it can run into the white turtleneck.
After lunch, the time goes by so fast. Two rouladen, without side dishes, to go, says the old lady at the cash register and hands her tupperbox over the counter. Thomas forgets to put the ketchup with the fries and the garnish is missing from the rooster. And then I did not pay attention for a moment: the knuckle with herb is out without love.