91-Year-Old “Lox Whisperer” At Zabar’s Honored By NYC, NY State Officials


When the pandemic started, lox slicer Len Berk was furloughed from Zabar’s. At first, as Berk recounted within the Ahead final yr, he was fired as a result of, along with his supervisor saying, “I like you, however you’re over 90 years outdated and also you’re within the group that’s most vulnerable to the virus and when you received it, if something occurred to you, I might by no means forgive myself.”

Berk returned to work final month, and on Monday, the 91-year-old was welcomed again by each Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who cited his work ethic.

In an alternate outdoors the Higher West Aspect connoisseur meals emporium, Hochul stated it was “large deal” that he had come again. Berk demurred, “I do not learn about a giant deal, but it surely’s a whole lot of enjoyable.”

“Folks see you behind the counter, they really feel like we’re getting again to regular,” she identified. “That is what it is all about.”

“Getting again to regular, that is factor to represent,” Berk agreed.

“You are the embodiment of that,” Hochul stated, with Brewer subsequent to her. “Gale and I are dubbing you that—Mr. Getting Again to Regular.”

“Okay,” Berk declared. “I settle for.”

Len Berk slices lox from behind the counter


Len Berk in motion

Manhattan Borough President Brewer’s workplace

Inside the shop, Brewer offered Berk with an appreciation for his “devoted service” for the previous 26 years on the Higher West Aspect, “referred to as the Lox Whisperer,” whereas the lieutenant governor gave him a letter citing his professional lox slicing abilities.

Hochul additionally met with Brewer to speak concerning the Higher West Aspect restoration—and realized that Zabar’s is trying to rent extra workers.

Berk had been an authorized public accountant till he retired in 1994. He advised NPR in 2015 {that a} buddy advised him about an assist wished advert on the lookout for a lox slicer. “So I utilized for the job. I despatched the proprietor an e-mail itemizing 10 credentials: uh, I have been considered one of your finest prospects; I am dependable; I’ve all the time been a fish individual,” Berk recalled. An proprietor then replied, “What sort of a CPA needs to slice lox?”

He described a sort of zen whereas he is working, “Once I’m slicing, I am slicing. Fairly often I get misplaced within the lox. Someone will say, ‘Do you hear what I am saying?’ And I’d say, ‘Sure I do, however I am very concerned in slicing your salmon now.'”

On this 2014 interview with The Ahead, Berk defined that slicing lox is, effectively, very sensual:

Berk confirmed to the NY Put up that he was absolutely vaccinated as of February.