It’s no secret that kitchens can be a dangerous place. Every cook has their own stories of the crazy things that go on in the back of the house. Sometimes it’s purely a terrible accident, other times it’s good old fashioned stupidity. Either way it makes for a good story down the road.
It being Halloween, we figured we would rehash some of the horror stories we’ve either experienced ourselves or heard about over the years — usually in the wee hours at some dive bar, when chefs dish about these things. The names and places have been changed, but the stories you are about to hear are real.
- A cook is having a terrible service and gets kicked off the line by his chef. In a moment of frustration he throws his knife against the wall and chips the tip of the blade off, sending it directly into his eye.
- A inexperienced cook drops a pair of tongs into the fryer and without thinking reaches into the fryer to retrieve them. You can imagine the awful (smell) result.
- Getting ready for a high-profile dinner at the James Beard House, a cook thinks it’s a good idea to get the gelee he needed to brunoise un-molded by lightly steaming it over the veal stock simmering behind him in the 30 gallon steam kettle. As the gelee slipped from the mold and plunged into the boiling stock, the cook was left with one choice, let it go and explain to the chef what happened, or go in after it and hope there was enough gelatin in it and that it would hold up for a second. Needless to say, the cook rescued the gelee and spent the rest of the evening with one hand plating and the other buried in a cup of ice water.
- A friend/cook was reaching across the stove to grab some pots while propping themselves up on the stove. She lost her balance and landed squarely on top of the french top griddle (800 degrees Fahrenheit). Her co-worker and future husband had to literally peel her off the stove and subsequently carry her to the emergency room.
Don’t try these kitchen mishaps at home.
Happy Halloween from Pilot Light Restaurant Group.
Read last week’s installment of The Worst Idea Ever, Seasonal Cooking in the Heart of Texas