As a Chef, you will most certainly run into all kinds of different debacles when it comes to your kitchen. This is especially true if you are a catering chef that is working in different kitchens on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. In 2012 I was working a party for this extremely wealthy individual in South Florida. They had a catering kitchen in the downstairs of their home and it was an absolute delight to work in. There was plenty of room for me and my two helpers, and everything was top of the line. There were a few problems with the kitchen that were not brought to light until a little later in the evening.
We were cooking for around 100 individuals and a pasta dish was on the menu. About half way into the evening I was summoned upstairs by the owner for something he wanted to discuss. Right before I was summoned I turned on a faucet to fill a large pot in a deep commercial sink, and guess what, I forgot to turn the water off before I went upstairs. This sounds like it would be no big deal because it’s in a sink, right? Wrong! All I can say is I’m really glad I know someone that has a water damage restoration business because the bottom of the pot just so happened to be the perfect shape, and with all of the weight of the water the pot closed off the water’s access to the drain. So, after about 20 minutes of schmoozing with the owner and his friends in my cool chef outfit and talking about how amazing my appetizers were I got back down to the kitchen. Wouldn’t you know it there was about 3-4 inches of standing water on the floor and it was rising! Turns out, the sink wasn’t very thick metal because it had flexed just enough to allow the pot to cut off the drain.
I did what any respectable business owner would do and freaked out! There were so many things that all happened simultaneously to make this really bad situation worse than it could have been. Turns out, the sink wasn’t very thick metal so it had flexed just enough to allow the pot to cut off the drain. The kitchen, unlike most commercial kitchens, didn’t have a drain in the floor. The baseboards just so happened to be out because they were scheduled to be replaced the following Monday, and to top it off BOTH of the rooms the kitchen connected to were carpeted, I mean WTF, could it have been any better?
So, my helpers and I get enough water cleaned up so we can continue our job for the evening. Everything else was great about the evening, but I so stressed out about the client’s home. There was water in the walls because there was no base boards, there was soaking wet carpet in two rooms, this was not good! Luckily, my buddy from Jupiter Water Damage Restoration was able to get out there and take a look later that night. He was on it and got started first thing in the morning. They got everything fixed up the next day with minimum invasion and best of all, my insurance covered it! A happy customer and no money out of my pocket equals win/win! Overall it was a terrifying experience, and I’ll never forget how bad that made me feel, but you learn and you move on. That’s what it’s all about with business. Learning from your mistakes and making sure not to make them twice!