The Scars of Charlotte Chefs

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


(page 8 of 10)


The Flipside Café, The Flipside Restaurant: Amy Fortes

"I’m awful at burns. My worst was at Mimosa [Grill]. I’d been at Mimosa like a year, and it’s a 12-burner range when you work the sauté station. Every time it rains, nobody wants to leave the Wells Fargo building, so they all come down to Mimosa and the surrounding restaurants that they don’t have to walk outside for. We were getting crushed. There’s a trout dish, it’s a full filet of trout and it’s pecan-crusted. You could flip those in a pan without using any utensils, and I could do that without splashing myself; I was really good at that. Well, I was being an idiot, and I had a piece of salmon—a good, six-ounce portion of salmon—and I had it in a French pan, which is the little thin, black skillet—super-hot. I had too much oil, and, like an idiot, I went to flip it before I put it in the oven. The oil went up over my hand and my arm in a wave, and just drenched my arm. It’s been six years and you can still see it. I looked like a tiger for years, because it just spread right across my arm. My entire back of my hand bubbled about an inch, and then I had these stripes of burn. I had a ring on I almost had to cut off because it bubbled on both sides. It was just ugly.” 

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