In the Line of Fire

Kitchen StoriesOK, well I wasn’t behind the line, but I was the manager. One of the servers ran up telling me that the kitchen was on fire and the cooks were burned… she had seen 2 of them with badly burned faces! It was 8pm on a Friday and the second busiest night of the entire year in our upscale restaurant… I called 911 and they told me to meet them at the door. Within moments there were about 10 huge firefighters in full gear – huge suits, oxygen tanks (we were a below street level restaurant), axes, shovels… pulling a firehose I think. They rushed between the tables of the full dining room to the front kitchen. We found out there that what had happened is that it literally got “TOO HOT” in the kitchen and the fire extinguishers in the ceiling all activated. The entire kitchen was flooded with ancient black water from the bowels of the building – all the full saute pans, the salad and appetizer stations…there was at least 2 feet of water on the floor and rising as all the water in the 4 story building emptied. What the server had seen was black muck on the stunned cooks faces and in their hair! The funniest part was that when I went around to the tables to apologize and explain why they wouldn’t be able to dine with us that night, not a single one of them had noticed all the chaos and it was a task to convince them! Somehow, we managed to clean up the kitchen and get the health dep’t in so we were able to open the next night which WAS busiest night of the year for us.

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Posted in On The Line - Kitchen Stories

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