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160804 So long, to a Swiss Chef, a friend - Papa John Schaut

It’s another day to remember, an “old” friend Papa John Schaut, 95 years old, was rest in peace this morning. His son Nicholas Schaut is a hop grower whom and I first met in Aug 30th, 2011 and Papa John moved to live with Nick’s family in fall while he was 90 years old.

(2013Mar02, Papa John was making sure Nick, both were chef, prepare spätzle correctly)
When Nick introduced me to Papa John he said “James is the brewmaster of Muskoka Brewery. Remember, dad? You have those Mad Tom IPA which is James’ recipe”. Since then he remembered this beer always.

Rachel said in dinner today “I thought of buying a Mad Tom IPA since Papa likes it”…

Since fall, 2013 Nick and I brewed 4 barrels for our dreaming sour beer project Papa John always asked me, on every of my visit, how do they taste like? I believe he was counting when he will be able to have a sip of them. But it ends up will never happen.

I remember he always joked himself sooner or later would kick the bucket; however, he made one winter then another. We had some good time together to raise a glass of beer or wine cheered for good health. Sometimes he was gumpy but in most cases He was very generous to guests including my friends and talked about the story why he came to Canada, because he is a certified Swiss chief, in his 20’s with a suitcase makes me recall some of my old memories.  

(2014Aug04, today from two years ago, with Giles, June and Arial)

Even last year I was with Papa for a week so let Nick’s family have a short vacation. On Friday night, Papa heard Rachel is coming to pick me up over the weekend he said we should cook for her. So he asked me to take a chicken from freezer and prepare a hand full of mushroom, a large can of tomato, garlic, and onion with some other spices to cook a “Chicken Fista” – a famous dish in his restaurant. Chef chopped everything with his eyes hardly clear see and the Sous chef, me, followed his instruction to cook. It turned out a wonderful meal and I tried several time to serve my guests with a good success. I wish I could learn more from him.

(2015Mar28, Chef's cooking class. Super!!)

Papa John is very tough. At his age with kidney and heart problem he tried to keep active. He dried dishes with towel and arranged in cabinet. He walked as long as weather permitted even in cold winter days. He helped moving fire woods in winter and watched Nick’s work on the farm.

This does not seem to be long ago since we last visited him in July 9th although we all knew his end was coming soon. Papa John was happy to see us and talkative as usual. I thought to take a picture all together but did not do at the last minute, just like other occasions I missed in the past.

When time comes, we all have to go.

I recall my grandpa John who passed in 100 years old. Maybe they two will find each other in heaven and cheer a glass of beer or wine together.

Rest in Peace