Blood in the Kitchen: Houston Chefs Share Some Horrific Tales

Categories: Off the Wall

joshmartinezz.jpg
Photo by Brittanie Shey
Josh Martinez sports a bandana stained red with the blood of his line cooks.
Joshua Martinez, owner of Goro & Gun and The Modular:

I approached Martinez about discussing kitchen injuries, and he quickly texted me thusly: "Got a graphic photo of said event," followed by, "Want to see?"

I responded that I did, but I asked him to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to send it that I was out at dinner.

Then a photo popped up on my phone, followed immediately by, "Oops." "Don't open don't look." "Look away." "So so sorry."

I looked. I was sorry, too. You can see the photo on the next page (Caution: nasty). Below is what Martinez had to say about the incident:

"This is really bad. I can't believe it. A week into working, we caught one employee trying to clean the shelf area of the fryer with the hot oil still in there. We told him not to use a towel and tongs to clean, and to make sure the whole thing's dumped before doing that. I think he was trying to make it look like it was really clean, but it wasn't. Sure enough, I had left early that day and I get a call that his hand went into the fryer. I was like, 'What?!' The towel he was using to clean had a whole lot of water in it, and he dropped it in the fryer. And once water hits hot oil, it boils over quickly."

"I asked where he was, and the other employees were like, 'He had a beer, and he's going home,' and I was like, 'Why isn't he in the hospital?'"

"He called me the next day and sent a photo and I told him to go to the doctor. The following day he sent me another photo [which you can see on the next page], and I was like 'GET TO THE HOSPITAL NOW. If you don't go there, I'm coming to your house and taking you there!'"

"It was super-infected, but he's OK. He was gone about two and a half weeks. He's a barback now. He's not allowed to touch anything hot."

After hearing the story and seeing the accompanying photo, I'd heard enough. But Martinez wasn't done.

knifecuthalloween.jpg
Photo by Alex Thompson
Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones, for the record.
"This wasn't me personally, but about 10 years ago I gave all my sushi chefs in Austin Thai Red Bull, which comes in little medicine bottles. It was the stupidest thing I ever did. Next thing you know, they're shaking and their hands are trembling and one guy cut himself to the bone while filleting fish. And that was the end of energy drinks in the restaurant."

"Then, on the first day of The Modular, Mikey Nguyen was slicing something with the mandoline, and I said, 'Hey man be careful with that.' And then he went and sliced the tip of his thumb right off. I remember having to get superglue, glue his thumb back on, wrap it in paper towels and put a glove on him cause he couldn't leave. It was our first day. He seriously couldn't leave."

And now for the photo. Skip straight to page 5 if you're squeamish.

Location Info

Prego

2520 Amherst, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Trevisio Restaurant

6550 Bertner St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Goro & Gun - CLOSED

306 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Modular

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Underbelly

1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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16 comments
RickyRescue
RickyRescue

Yo Chris, arterial blood is bright red, not dark. (Still sounds serious.)

Suzy Bruisie Q Stone
Suzy Bruisie Q Stone

Cut a little piece of my thumb off once. Can't really tell without looking at the other one.

Mahira863
Mahira863

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rgwalt
rgwalt

The dude from page 4 is lucky he still has that hand/arm.  Seriously.  Another day or two = gangrene followed by amputation, or at best devistatingly strong course of anti-biotics plus maggot therapy.

TimP
TimP

My chef/cook bro managed to spill very hot stock onto his feet on his first day on the line at a very prestigious kitchen in New Orleans on his first day where they were taking a bit of a chance on hiring him as he had a thin resume at the time.  Serious burns on the tops of his feet, but he worked through the shift.  When he got home, I asked him if he'd at least put some burn cream on his feet and he just laughed.

Jennifer Ridgway
Jennifer Ridgway

just to warn those as squeamish as me...absolutely don't look at the photos or read page 5. Ack!

Kathy Stabe
Kathy Stabe

They will not superglue you at the ER. Superglue is a field medic trick. You get stitches when you see doctors. When you do use superglue, you're still supposed to go see a doctor. And if you cut part of your finger off? You are not supposed to just glue it back on. Superglue is a trick for incisions, not amputations.

Timothy Black
Timothy Black

well yea, that's all they'll do the ER half the time. Except they'll charge you $500+ to do it. Superglue is pretty common and effective at that sort of thing.

Ron Prichard
Ron Prichard

James Brock I hope they did not take these photos at your house.

erichenao
erichenao topcommenter

Perfect timing for Halloween!!!

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@rgwalt One of the grossest things I've ever seen.

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@Alexander_Bites Why thank you. I was going for shock factor. Did you see the burn photo on page 4? SO MUCH WORSE.

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