Kitchen catastrophes

From burning your tongue to blowing off your hands, the kitchen can be a dangerous place.

by: Kerry Gibbs: Food24 | 04 Sep 2009

After hearing about the chef who accidently blew off his hands with liquid nitrogen, cooking Heston Blumenthal style, I've realised that becoming a chef is quite a dangerous profession.

With my clumsy nature and a head that is usually in the clouds, kitchens, with their knives, hot surfaces and boiling liquids, can become quite a hazard to myself and others within slipping distance.

I have, on a couple of occasions, Jackson Pollocked the kitchen after forgetting to put the lid on the Kenwood and forgotten that what goes into the microwave really does come out hot. Julienned my finger, burnt my hand and mouth with hot sugar and have narrowly missed amputating my foot numerous times with falling knives. My apron shouldn’t read “kiss the cook”, but rather “run away as if your life and limbs depended on it.”

But these are just slight mishaps in comparison to some of the stories I have heard from chefs and friends in the catering industry.

Our Food ed. Chef Caro, told me a nightmare-inducing story about the video shown to all Silwood first years about safety in the kitchen. As scarring as the “women gives birth video” poor Caro was made to watch a worker make noodles out of his hand with an industrial pasta machine.

Even after the safety video Caro went on to deep fry her hand and scald her face and neck whilst making crayfish bisque.

Another story out of Silwood, from my mother, is how one of her students was accidently stabbed with a knife by a co-worker while working in the hectic kitchen atmosphere.

When I asked the bloggers, I read a couple of stories about the dangers of crocs in the kitchen. These ‘lunch-boxes’ for you feet are not designed to protect you from falling knives, or any hot burning fat or liquids that spill onto your toes.

There were also stories about accidently setting the kitchen on fire; many had dishes that overflowed onto the element in the oven and proceeded to catch on fire. Luckily, disasters were averted and they managed to save their kitchens from going up in flaming glory.

Even the pros are not safe from the odd disaster in their kitchens. Our favourite Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver, steamed his… um “spuds” whilst cooking sea bass for his wife on Valentines Day. He nearly ended up serving her his beloved “eggs” instead, when he opened the oven and a cloud of steam escaped to burn his nether regions.

Do you have any disasters that you have experienced? Let us know.

- None


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