At the table

Raphael Diaz and Silvio Germann

Ice hockey star Raphael Diaz and his wife Myriam welcome a famous visitor to their new home: top chef Silvio Germann shows the couple a few things their new kitchen can do.

“It’s ‘classic chic’ style”, says Myriam Diaz, talking about her cream and white open-plan kitchen, dining and living area. Canadian-born Myriam, ice hockey star Raphael Diaz and their daughter Olivia have been in their semi-detached home with its attractive view of Baar and Zug for a month now. Myriam Diaz styled the interior of their family home, and “we chose the furniture together,” says her husband. Diaz says he doesn’t need much to feel at home. “For me, it’s enough for things to be going well for us as a couple and a family, then I feel good.” This seems to spill over into sport, too: Raphael Diaz, who played for several years in the USA and Canada, is having a fantastic season at EV Zug. He’ll be leaving his current club for Fribourg-Gottéron later this year, however. “My career is going in yet another direction, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Diaz says. “Obviously, I’m really pleased that Fribourg have put their faith in me.”

Right now, however, Myriam and Raphael Diaz are spending time with a new coach learning a very different discipline. In their brand-new kitchen equipped with modern V-ZUG appliances, that coach is no other than top chef Silvio Germann from the restaurant IGNIV by Andreas Caminada in Bad Ragaz, who has taken time out on his day off to teach the couple a few culinary tricks. Germann has brought a zander with him and is demonstrating how to prepare this delicately flavoured fish in the steam cooker, covering it with cling film and gently steaming it at exactly 55 °C for just a few minutes. “To check whether or not the fish is done, all you need to do is press it lightly with your finger,” says Germann. “If it’s equally soft all over and flakes easily when you apply a little pressure, then it’s cooked.” Myriam and Raphael Diaz watch on with fascination as the top chef deftly prepares a sauce while at the same time slicing some leek and putting it in the oven to roast. “I can spend hours in the kitchen, it makes me happy, ” says Myriam Diaz, while her husband admits that although he enjoys good food, he’s much better on the ice than at the stove. “But at barbecues I do the cooking,” he tells us. Sometimes, when Myriam Diaz has gone home to Canada for a visit, her husband has been known to eat plain spaetzle with mayonnaise. “He showed me his dinner once on a video call, and I couldn’t believe anyone would eat such a thing,” she says, laughing. “Well, I did score lots of goals that week,” says Raphael Diaz, completely unashamed.

Chef Silvio Germann calls everyone to the table. The Diaz family loves the zander served with beurre blanc, chive oil and leek. “This is so so good”, says Myriam Diaz, and her husband adds that enjoying a meal together is an important part of their day. He explains that his family life has helped him grow as an ice hockey professional. “I’m more balanced mentally, I can switch off better, and in turn that helps me focus better on sport.” The times when he would spend days agonizing over a bad pass are long gone. Ultimately there are more important things in life, like cosy family meals around this wooden dining table.

Images source: © Thomas Buchwalder / Schweizer Illustrierte

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