Don’t Try This At Home is a book of top chefs’ kitchen disasters. Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adria, Jamie Oliver, Anthony Worrall-Thompson – they’re all there. The key point was the way in which they managed to recover. It’s good to know that we are not alone.
Take the wedding I worked at on Saturday night. First, the lemon juice that had been squeezed (from our only lemons, it has to be said), was ditched by mistake. No problem for Jon, who dashed off to the Spar. Then the guests took an extra 30 minutes to take their seats, with the result that the lemon beurre monte I’d made was less liquid than it was supposed to be. So all the little dishes were returned to the kitchen for re-heating, but being made up largely of emulsified butter, the sauce promptly split. Fortunately we had some eggs, and so I was able to convert the sauce to an impromptu hollandaise.
But that wasn’t the end of it. The gas canister for the blow torch had been fitted incorrectly, with the result that it was leaking its gas. Thanks to another caterer based nearby, we were able to get a replacement, and get the crème brulees out on schedule.
All in a night’s work!