When you see a celebrity chef at the height of their success, it’s easy to assume they’re always on top of their game. Think of a show or online vlog that featured your favourite. You watched them finesse egg recipes with an ease that seemed superhuman. The way they chopped the ingredients, measured everything by sight and knew just how much Aromat seasoning to use … it seemed like they were on autopilot.
But it wasn’t always like that. A chef who prepares five-star dishes that cost an arm and a leg was once a novice. Believe it or not, there was a point where they struggled to get even the basics right. Not convinced?
Here’s a list of mistakes made by world-renowned chefs:
Spike Mendelsohn (Top Chef Season 4 Finalist)
Although Spike is now the proud owner of multiple restaurants such as Good Stuff Eatery, Santa Rosa Taqueria, and We, The Pizza, he once made a rookie mistake in his early days. His head chef had instructed him to make half the usual amount of soufflé mix because he knew it would not be a busy night. Spike ignored him and made the usual amount. More than half the mix was leftover at the end of the night, and the head chef was so angry that he poured the mix over Spike’s head to teach him a lesson!
Sam Talbot (Top Chef Season 2 Finalist)
Author and chef, Talbot is one of many celebrity chefs who made an epic slip-up in his early days. It was the opening day of a major restaurant, and Sam hadn’t cooked in a major eatery in two years. And when he tried to fire up the grill … nothing. It didn’t take him long to realise he hadn’t refilled the gas cylinder. Luckily, a friend had a cylinder they could use, but he had to fly there to get it. The whole trip took 50 minutes, but thankfully none of the patrons realised it.
Fabio Viviani (Author of Fabio’s Italian Kitchen)
When Fabio tried his hand at baking, the results were less than appetising. Fabio once ignored the advice of an experienced pastry chef, who told him to caramelise the sugar on his 27kg so it could hold everything together. But Fabio didn’t think the advice was worth heeding. The cake came apart 45 minutes before it was meant to be cut. But it did teach Fabio an important lesson, always listen to the experts.
If there’s anything to be learned from these stories, it’s that mastery takes time and effort. So, the next time you feel hesitant about experimenting in the kitchen, remember that your favourite celebrity chef probably felt the same way at some point.