During my stint at the Olive Mill Bistro in Santa Barbara (1981-1984) I worked with a classically trained waiter from Austria, Otto Berger. When the Sommerset restaurant closed in about 1967, he formed a partnership with Gil Rosa and Paul Vercammen to open the Olive Mill Bistro. Otto had a polished, gracious table side manner and was the kind of waiter that would remember your preferred food dishes and which way to point the handle of your coffee cup. Otto also worked with me at my restaurant, Michael's Waterside, during the late 1980s.
Otto's family owns an ancient inn in Austria called Gasthaus Berger. It has been in the family for generations and he would summer there. Otto passed away earlier this month. I have one of his recipes for an Austrian petit four that I call Otto's Crescents. R.I.P. Otto.