Young and Hungry

Halloween Horror Stories: Melting Skin in the Kitchen

hot oilJust in time for Halloween, Metromix New York asked a number of Big Apple chefs for their worst kitchen horror stories, which you can read on this gruesome slide show. Many of them, as you might expect, concern hot-oil burns in the kitchen, but this one is truly awful. It comes from Amanda Cohen, the chef/owner at Dirt Candy:

A couple years ago I had a sous-chef think a pan on the stove was empty, but turned out to be filled with boiling oil. She turned it upside down on her hand and we just saw her hand blister right away, and then all the skin started pouring off. You just saw it hanging off of her hand. She ended up in the hospital for a couple of weeks, actually.

This feature reminds me of my own kitchen disaster, way back when I was in grad school and working at a crap-hole chain Italian restaurant to earn some scratch.

I worked early morning prep. This one particular morning, I was carrying a giant pot of boiling pasta water to the sink to drain. There was a wet patch on the floor — which you can't see when you're carrying a pot of boiling pasta water the size of a small bear — and I slipped and dropped the pot. Boiling water shot out of the pot and hit my face. I don't remember much after that, except that I ended up in the hospital waiting room...waiting, waiting, waiting.

I was fortunate. The space between the ground and my face was wide enough to prevent a serious burn. But let me tell you: Even a minor facial burn hurts like a motherfucker.

Photo by Ever Jean via Flickr Creative Commons, Attribution License

  • Nikki

    Ouch!!! My most recent kitchen horror story was when I was chopping up a butternut squash for a slow cooker recipe and I almost lobbed the tip of my finger off.

  • dan riley
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