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. By: As told to Kate Meyers
Result: Shells—sans shrimp.
I was cooking a dinner party for very much an A-list group of about 20 people in my New York City loft. I had 25 pounds of fabulous fresh shrimp, and I was doing a recipe that I was going to run in The Times. I juiced a little pineapple with some chiles and lime for a hot-and-sour marinade. Then, I grilled the marinated shrimp in their shells. As they were grilling, the shrimp themselves disappeared. They just shriveled away to nothing. All I had left were empty shells! (continued on next slide)