Obituary - Rudi Geissler, of Birkby
Last updated at 19:38, Thursday, 12 July 2012
Well known West Cumbrian chef and restaurateur Rudiger Geissler has died aged 71.
Mr Geissler, known as Rudi, opened The Retreat, at Birkby, near Maryport, as a hotel and restaurant in 1985.
He came to the UK from Germany to learn English and never went home.
He was born near Dresden, and his father Wolfgang owned a printing business.
The business was confiscated and Mr Geissler senior had to flee the Russian-occupied zone in Germany over political differences.
His mother Irmgard, with her five children, followed and the family were reunited as political refugees in the Black Forest, where Mr Geissler’s youngest sister was born and his siblings still live.
He trained as a chef and worked in Frankfurt before coming to England in 1962 because he thought it was advantageous for a chef to have a second language.
He worked at the Bower House Inn in Eskdale where he met and married his wife Alison in 1973.
The couple set up their own business, The Old Court House – now the Honest Lawyer – in Cockermouth.
In 1976 they bought The Retreat, a large family home in Birkby and, in 1985, opened it up as a hotel and restaurant.
Mr Geissler was known for his continental flair and was famous for his vegetable consomme.
He was also known as a hard working, consistent and honest perfectionist.
When he was not working he was fond of wildlife, especially bird life, and was a keen stamp collector.
To his wife and three daughters - Zine, Daniela and Natasha - he was a loving family man who particularly doted on his grandchildren Kyah, Isha, Lucas, Leon, Eva and Noah.
A service for Mr Geissler was held at St John's Church, Crosscanonby, near Maryport, on Wednesday, led by the Rev Mary Day.
First published at 19:25, Thursday, 12 July 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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