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What's your biggest kitchen disaster?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

...like, say u didn't know that it's really bad to try and use laundry soap in the dishwasher.

post #2 of 25

Go take a gander at my kitchen now.. it's a disaster.  Nothing a little laundry soap in the dishwasher won't fix though smile.gif

post #3 of 25

The day we had a banquet going on for 1000 and we had a power blackout. I wanted to commit suicide. Thank heaven I was in NY and we  had gas cooking. We put 5 arm candleabras on each table and pulled it off. Elevators did not work and guest left down emergency lit stairs.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #4 of 25

It wasn't my disaster,  but my neighbor's.  She put a pan of eggs on to boil,  forgot about them, and started driving to the community center.  She remembered when she was more than halfway there, so she continued on,  and called me from the center to go turn the stove off. 

 

The pan had boiled dry, the eggs had turned to sulphur,  and the house stunk to high heaven.  Fortunately,  the pan didn't get hot enough to melt, and the house didn't catch fire.  I opened all the windows and doors and sprayed air freshner all around.  It wasn't too bad after a couple of days. 

 

It was fortunate for her that I was home, though. 

"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #5 of 25

when the cleaning guy mixed ammonia and bleach together. he emptied the whole restaurant at lunch.

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

that blackout banquet reminds me of this story I read about a restaurant in France.   The theme was to help people understand what it would be like to be blind, so inside at the tables it was pitch dark.

post #7 of 25

200 person BBQ cater, my baker screwed up my bun order and I had to bake buns on site in the BBQ pit. Not something I care to repeat.

post #8 of 25

When I was in high school, I attempted to make a flambe.  Not only did it not taste good, but the flame was go big when I lit it, that it singed off my eyebrows and my eyelashes. 

post #9 of 25

Making food in a out-side kitchen, for 4000 peoples, 2 times the day. Dinner & Lunch. That was kind of fun.  This was the recipe for the Bolognese Sauce:

550 Kg Ground Beef
110 Kg Onion
110 Kg Pomarola 
Water 330 Kg
Seasoned Salt 8.25 Kg
23 Lt Oil
Fine Salt 8.25 Kg
17 Kg Cornstarch

Water 1200
30 Lt Soy Sauce

 

I know, it's a simply recipe, but it was pretty hard to do, because it was such a large amount.

DSC03882.JPG

post #10 of 25

Working at Sabatinos , an upscale Italian Ristorante in Toronto. Cannabis was the flavor of the day, and I'm 18. Chef asks me to make Brusshetta, no problem its in a bowl covered with saran.I begin jerking bowl up and totally enthralled by the tomato mixture hitting saran and falling back. I spend about 2or3 mins. in a euphoric awe doing this over and over.So the Matri de (i don't know how to spell that word) walks into the kitchen, and I hate this guy with a passion; I quickly turn towards him as I'm rotating bowl of Brusshetta clockwise and up, calling him "Hey Mario" my arms swinging back and then rapidly forward... I really thought that the saran would hold that mixture and of course to the utter shock that it didn't,yet laughing to see man covered from waist to head in brusshetta. The laughter lasted very briefly as I hightailed it through the kitchen, out the back door being chased by a mad man flailing a boning knife, threatening to kill me. Not returning to work that night or any thereafter

 

 

;

post #11 of 25

My first time at the helm of a kitchen, my chef was away for the week during reading week but I was only 2 months in on my first kitchen job.  Was waiting for a long long time for the bus to get into work but it never came because the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) decided to go on an illegal wildcat strike meaning no notice.  As soon as I heard, I booted for work as it would have been a 4hour walk on a Monday when we get all our orders.  I was afraid all my frozens where gonna be gone by the time I got in plus I had a number of caterings.  Ran past a known hanging area where cabbies go while off duty, empty.  After an hour of fast-walking, a good samaritan picked me up and drove me most of the way to work, just a good 10min walk.  Most of my orders was fine, turns out all the caterings were canceled for the same reason I showed up for work late. 

 

I can name quite a few more but this was my first scrape with disaster so its got a special place in my heart.

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

LOL @ Taj

 

post #13 of 25

My worst kitchen disaster happened while I was in Washington DC working for Marriott,

We were prepping for a large banquet, all the stoves were covered with pans and pots of food cooking at various stages when the Ansul system went off covering everything with that foam.

We were 3 hours from service. The kitchen was ordered closed by the health department. Management called in employees from other accounts to wash walls, the stove and all the equipment. The banquet for that evening was prepped in another kitchen 5 miles away and brought to the back door of our place just in the nick of time. In the 3 hours the kitchen was totally cleaned to satisfy the health department.  Guests never knew what happened.

post #14 of 25

Near disaster averted.

 

A common issue where I work is that some of our catering requests gets mixed up with other requests on other days.  I was made aware of a simple request for cookies and fruit trays for 250 people but I was told it wasn't for another couple days.  Next day, got through a rough day of lots of caterings and there was only 2 of us working on them so I was starting my clean up while my helper started setting up next day's catering.  She looked at that 250 person cookie and fruit tray catering and noted the date, it was for that day in less then 1hour.  Between the 2 of us, we managed to get it done and ready in just over 30mins.  I had frozen cookies but only 2 working ovens, I also thankfully ordered enough fruit to assemble the trays, I also had to pull whatever other help to deliver them 2 buildings over.  Suffice to say, I was beat yet surprised how fast we managed to avert this near disaster.

post #15 of 25

Exploding hot butternut squash puree all over me, my sous, the wall, the icecream maker, both our stations - damn stucco wall was a b*tch to clean up. Stupid vita-prep.  : /

 

Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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Do or Do not - There is no Try. - Yoda
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post #16 of 25

I have had horrible luck in the kitchen.  Cooked these premade patties maybe a year ago, grease splashed, left about 5 large circle burns on me.

The blisters swelled, and went to the doctor later on.  Still have light marks on my arm from those burns.  Hahahahaha

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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post #17 of 25
One a long time ago... 2nd time I cooked a whole turkey in Weber Kettle for thanksgiving dinner for 12. I didn't own a meat thermometer, and under cooked the turkey, it was not good...

More recently... We do a year end dinner for the family about 16-17 people at my sister's house, I do all the cooking (thus I have to haul like a cater a lot of stuff), and we try to make it a bit formal served in courses. Clam chowder has been a regular on the menu for several years, the first couple of times I made it fresh, but with limited kitchen space and help, I decided last year to cook the chowder the night before and heat for the meal. I finish the chowder at about 2 or 3 am in the morning pour into the large storage container turn to put into fridge, as I am sitting on shelf somehow it slips, I attempt to catch the container and knock half the hot mixture into the open fridge, under the fridge, all over the kitchen floor. I was very tired and wanted to go to bed get some sleep for the big meal later that day, but now I have to spend an hour plus cleaning out the fridge, floor, etc. I ended up making the clam chowder at the meal same as before. One problem I couldn't get enough fresh clams so had to resort to some canned, most didn't know the difference, I did.
post #18 of 25

Not mine, but my sister's doings.  My sister borrows my mom's relatively new car (she has an old car, but it's unreliable for long distances) to move out after the school year from Austin to Houston.  She apparently cleans out the fridge and puts some of the things in a small cooler.  During the trip, things get jostled around and stuff gets thrown out of the cooler.  She misses a bag of marinated meat (Vietnamese style so think fish sauce) and it goes unfound for a few days.  I go to try and shampoo and vacuum to help out the smell and find a bag of brown mush.  Few days of Texas summer + meat and fish sauce.  Yuck..

 

My youngest brother started school last fall so with the incentives to buy new economic cars, my parents decide to buy a new Corolla for them to take to Austin.  Only a month or two of driving the car, they go grocery shopping.  My mom inquires about milk that was on the shopping list and they said thought they had paid for it and left it at the store.  Guess what they found a few days later.... also during the summer.

post #19 of 25

So many to choose from - blew up the oven (resulting in the oven blowing me across the kitchen and burning off all the hair on my face and arms), numerous fires, dunked my hand in the fryer (then tried to run cold water over it, but the water was hot. Incredibly, I didn't get a blister or a scar from it), blew up the microwave, blew up the pressure cooker, and probably a lot more whose memories I've managed to suppress.

post #20 of 25

Trying to make Mole Negro for the first time....toasting the various chili seeds.....and chilis....burning eyes...smoke....hot seeds popping in my eyes...smoke out...bad.....all day and it was horrible.

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 

@OnePiece

 

just don't ever try to make "pop-cherry" ... you know like popcorn, except with the pits of cherry seeds.  And, when the seeds don't pop, but smoke out your kitchen in the hot oil instead ... don't try to carry away the hot oil and burning cherry pits in a paper bowl, all balanced on the flat of a butter knife.  Then, especially don't try to open the back door w/ your other hand while balancing the above mentioned items on the knife.   And whatever you do, if the bowl of hot oil and burning cherry pits falls, don't try to catch it.   I can promise you that the hot oil doesn't feel good as it runs between your fingers, not to mention that when you try to flick it off your hand, droplets of oil may end up on even a 10 foot ceiling and stay there for years.

post #22 of 25

Jammer, never heard of "pop-cherry", but sounds like a potentially painful experience.  lol.gif

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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post #23 of 25

We were doing a banquet for some company whose name escapes me.  There were 300 or so of the top people from this company and they had been promised a pig roast by the catering department.  No problem.  I ordered and had delivered two whole pigs ready for the spit.  I woke up around 3:00 AM to get the pig wired to the spit and set up the barbecue pit. No problem again.  That accomplished I set the pig on the pit which was a portable unit with wheels.  I laid a nice bed of coals and got them ready, placed the pig on the brackets and started the motor.  Now anyone that has done this knows that the skin gets nice and crispy and the fat under the skin melts and kind of rolls around under the skin as the pig rotates.  Occasionally some will drip out and hit the coals which just helps add to the flavor.  All good stuff.  Sometime during the morning as I and my crew were preparing the rest of the goodies that went with the pig a little rain squall blew in.  Not something to be concerned about.  After all we were in the mountains in Sun Valley and any time it rained it was short lived.  So no worries.  I checked the pig to make sure everything was ok and sure enough we were good to go.  

 

The director of food and beverage, an Aussie, was strolling across the lawn and noticed the pig roasting away.  He thought to himself that hey, It's raining why don't I help the chef out here and just go ahead and move this nice little piggy over hear under the eaves of the storage building so that it didn't get rained on.  He didn't check with me just went ahead and moved the thing.  But.... before he moved it he decided to unplug the motor of the rotisserie.  So picture this.  Barbeque with wheels, roasted pig with crispy skin, rotisserie not turning, hot fat moving to lowest point on pig, hot coals, and we're off.  The skin splits, the hot fat hits the coals, and we have an instant conflagration.  The pig is burned to a crisp, the building is on fire, and the Aussie who is now a former friend, hysterical by the fact that he is now burning down the hotel.  I'll never forget this one. 

 

There are more but this is the best.

 

Paul

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by donmoocao View Post

Not mine, but my sister's doings.  My sister borrows my mom's relatively new car (she has an old car, but it's unreliable for long distances) to move out after the school year from Austin to Houston.  She apparently cleans out the fridge and puts some of the things in a small cooler.  During the trip, things get jostled around and stuff gets thrown out of the cooler.  She misses a bag of marinated meat (Vietnamese style so think fish sauce) and it goes unfound for a few days.  I go to try and shampoo and vacuum to help out the smell and find a bag of brown mush.  Few days of Texas summer + meat and fish sauce.  Yuck..

 

My youngest brother started school last fall so with the incentives to buy new economic cars, my parents decide to buy a new Corolla for them to take to Austin.  Only a month or two of driving the car, they go grocery shopping.  My mom inquires about milk that was on the shopping list and they said thought they had paid for it and left it at the store.  Guess what they found a few days later.... also during the summer.



Had a similar experience in the early 80's  with a couple of forgotten, post-concert gyro sandwiches left for nearly a week in a Mercury Bobcat in August. When we opened the doors, air rushed out like soda from a shaken can. The miasma that hung in the area would have frightened the EPA and odour of onions, sauce and lamb stayed with the car for at least 3 years that I knew of.

post #25 of 25

The only disaster I have done on the kitchen is always forgetting I have left cooking a fried chicken or pork, so it was burnt when I took it out of the pan.

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