The Scars of Charlotte Chefs

Charlotte’s prominent chefs share their worst moments in the kitchen— and the marks they have to remember them


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The Asbury: Chris Coleman

"Here at The Asbury a little less than a year ago, [sous chef ] Matthew Krenz had just come on. We were busy that night. I was scrambling to get a station set and was butchering a New York strip, a full loin. I wanted to cut the bones out and serve these giant tomahawk chops. I thought it’d be easier to do the whole loin than to cut them in individual chops first, which is a rookie mistake. I’m doing it very quickly, and sloppily, and scraping the bones toward my finger instead of away, and the knife ran right up the bone into my thumb where the thumb joins to the rest of the hand, right on top of that knuckle. I thought that I had just nicked it. Luckily, my knives were super-sharp, so it didn’t really hurt. I looked down, and I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s a lot of blood coming from that.’ I ran over to the sink, started washing it, and I could pull the skin apart where the cut was and see what I thought was a little tendon that was moving. It was part of the muscle, they told me later. But it was scary to look down and see the inside of my finger moving as I moved my thumb back and forth. I came upstairs and said, ‘I think I’m going to drive myself to the emergency room.’ Matthew said, ‘You look like you’re losing a lot of blood. I will drive you to the emergency room.’ So he went with me and I ended up getting five stitches for this little, quarter-inch cut. To this day, my son says, ‘Daddy, don’t cut yourself at work today.’ Every day.”

Note: Coleman is now culinary director at Marriott City Center.

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