Blood in the Kitchen: Houston Chefs Share Some Horrific Tales

Categories: Off the Wall

bloodykitchen.jpg
Photo by Indy Scream Park
The kitchen can be a dangerous place, friends.
"Pretty much any kitchen has superglue in it," Joshua Martinez, owner of Goro & Gun, told me recently. "If you cut part of your finger off, you just clean it and superglue it back on."

I've always known that a kitchen can be a dangerous place. My aunt is a chef, and I remember numerous dinners where she'd regale the table with the story of chopping off the tip of her thumb with a dull knife early in her career.

"Typically, what I do when I hurt myself is, I get very quiet, walk away and assess it," she would explain. "I could tell this was bad, but I worked for another three hours before the general manager said, 'Is your finger still bleeding? We're going to the hospital.' And there they had to drill a hole in my nail to loop the stitch through to get my skin to stay on."

It was at approximately that part of the anecdote where I'd lose my appetite.

(Before we proceed, an important note: All the chefs I interviewed follow stringent hygiene procedures in their kitchens, and make cleanliness a priority. There's no need to fear that there's blood in your gazpacho.)

I phoned my aunt and asked if she remembered any other horrific kitchen catastrophes. Thankfully/unfortunately, she did.

"One of my cooks was walking behind the line to try to clean the stainless steel walls behind the cooking line, and as he was sidestepping back behind the grill he stepped into the fire. And his Converse melted to his foot. They had to surgically remove his tennis shoe. Oh, and someone was telling me today that they knew someone who had dropped a three-quart can of tomato paste into the fryer and then forgot about it. So the person turns on the fryer, and at some point the fryer blew up in her face. It was just trying to keep her face together at that point. And people get their hands stuck in a pasta dough machine. You know, you're feeding the pasta in and your hand goes, too. It's kind of like a sausage blowout."

Boy, was I sorry I asked. Those mental images! But I couldn't stop there. I interviewed several local chefs and restaurateurs about their own kitchen nightmares, and now I don't think I'll ever set foot in one again.

Note: If you're eating, I suggest you finish your meal before you continue reading.

Location Info

Prego

2520 Amherst, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Trevisio Restaurant

6550 Bertner St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Goro & Gun

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

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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