Entertaining Mistakes

It's your worst nightmare: intimate dinner or big splashy event, and something goes horribly wrong. The causes can be legion. The only known antidote: humor & quick thinking.

Good fortune begins with dumb mistake
Illustration: Barry Blitt

Good fortune begins with dumb mistake

Who: Daniel Humm, executive chef, Eleven Madison Park, New York, New York

Result: Burnt chicken and years of laughs.

When my wife and I were first dating, I invited her over to my apartment to cook dinner for her for the first time. I had planned a very simple dinner, but I was still very nervous. The chicken was nearly done roasting when she arrived, so we sat down and started to drink wine… and later, I smelled the chicken’s burning skin.

What now? Needless to say, we ended up going out for Chinese food instead.

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