Culinary disasters

Inspired by the 'what's for dinner' thread, particularly Tetedelacourse's lemon scented risotto disaster, I think it's time we confessed to our culinary disasters!

I'm not too bad a cook, but the first time I cooked for my now husband I meant to roast this chicken and mango moroccan dish, but accidentally switched the electric oven to grill, thereby cremating it, as well as setting all the smoke alarms off. I've also had several disasters with filo pastry (I avoid it), stuffed peppers (the rice didn't cook properly and someone broke a tooth) and was once putting a chicken lasagne into the oven when the whole lot slid out of the dish and ended up everywhere except where it was supposed to be...

I've never made anyone ill, to my knowledge :biggrin:


Most people who know me think I am a pretty good cook, however:

I was cooking for my other half's family one Easter - Boeuf bourgignon with dauphinoise potatoes. I was checking if the potatoes were done when the tin slipped in my hand and the whole lot tipped onto the floor. Me & the missus exchanged a single glance before scooping the whole lot back into the tin. Everyone loved it. Mercifully I'd cleaned the floor the day before so avoided the usual fluff & dirt.

Twenty Inch

New Member
Behind a desk
I once made a chili con carne when I was running a restaurant. An elderly client suffered a heart attack after eating it. He was allergic to chili but had forgotten on that evening.
In our family we hit hard times in the 80s and my mum had to go back to work, while my dad, whilst still working, wasn't doing as long hours, so he had to learn how to cook and have the tea ready for the family when my mum got in. By and large, he did quite well apart from a couple of occasions when he:
- mixed teaspoon up with tablespoon, and so ended up putting 2 tablespoons of salt in something rather than teaspoons
- decided he wanted to experiment with the food processor (it must run in my family). Once he moulinexed a very strong onion - even the dog started crying and the budgie nearly met its maker. Another time he moulinexed a bolognaise sauce 'just to see what would happen'. He ended up creating this vile warm brown paste, not unlike diahorrea, which no matter how much spaghetti we added, the texture made us all heave.


I think we always end up eating the result of the mayhem no matter what. There are probably one or two memories buried deep in my subconscious which I can't resurrect - just for the moment :biggrin:. I can recall a dish of stewed plums with salt added in mistake for sugar, that sort of thing. And my wife once prepared a paprikas dish with chilli powder added instead of paprika. A particularly hot variety of chilli, too! Amazingly, we (well myself mostly) managed to work our way through the stuff! :biggrin::ohmy::ohmy::ohmy: Now you understand my chilli-fetish!

As regards difficult dishes which we've never pulled off successfully, well I think dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) comes high up on the list. Just haven't the knack of getting the leaves nice and tender, whilst not overcooking the stuffing to a mush - or charcoal. Ah well, must try harder!

Oh, and I once tried to make some flapjacks for an ACF ride. Result was charcoal in the baking tin. So I binned it and made felaffel instead - luckily it was OK :biggrin:. Even felaffel can go wrong: use too much oil for frying and they dissolve into a mush. As I know from experience. :biggrin:
I am generally a very competant cook, and have the knack of knowing when things are cooked without ever needing to time them or test them :smile:

Probably the biggest disaster was when my parents and my gf's parents were coming over to our house for dinner. We started cooking but were fairly swiftly overwhelmed by, ahem, the nervous tension of the two sets of parents meeting each other for the first time.

We were interrupted in the midst of relieving the tension by the smoke alarm :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

Dinner was totally ruined, so we thought fast and managed to book a table in a nice restaurant in town. Only for both sets of 'rents to decide that it was way to expensive for the two of us to pay for the meal (being students) and so coughed up for the whole thing!


Legendary Member
I'm a dreadful cook, but don't think I've ever hurt anyone. My favourite story though is of a Malaysian housemate in my first year at Uni. She was active in the Malaysian society and was very excited when the Malaysian ambassador came to visit them. She cooked for him especially...and gave him food poisoning! Pity the poor man, vomiting in a train toilet on the cattle train out of Wales!!


Senior Member
Birmingham, UK
Egg and aubergine curry was the worst thing I've ever made. It was cooked perfectly well, but as a combination didn't work on any level - even the colours clashed horribly.

I trained in catering for a while and have very high hygiene standards so have never poisoned anyone. Also being a vegetarian there is slightly less scope for disaster. That said, my brother made some people extremely ill with undercooked kidney beans. The dried variety have to be boiled hard and all the water discarded. He just chucked some in a slow cooking stew and assumed they'd soften up. :biggrin:

Andy in Sig

Vice President in Exile
I once met a chap who was an instructor of Army cooks. He said that one night he was on duty and had to supervise two trainees who had screwed up their attempt at Irish Stew during the day's lessons and so had to have another go in the evening. He discovered them peeling onions and crying their eyes out. So he said, "Lads, you'll find it a lot easier if you fill your sinks and peel the onions under water", and left them to it for a couple of minutes. When he came back he saw the two idiots with full sinks and their heads under water peeling the onions.


Über Member
After a recent Organic Delivery box with some lovely looking miniature Rhubarb, my wife made me a lovely crumble out of it. "Mmmmmm...." said I with the first mouthful as she looked on expectantly, even as the taste of vegetables swept across my palate (she wasn't partaking as she doesn't like rhubarb). After finishing this 'unusual' pudding I was offered afters, I politely declined due to being 'stuffed'.

It was only some weeks later that identified that item as "Ruby Chard" not rhubarb!!!


Senior Member
I managed to cut the tip of my finger off in a food processor. It produced a phenomenal amount of blood. Needless to say, that night's dinner was binned!

twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Over the Hill
One year I had a load of BIG pumpkins from the garden. Pumpkin soup sounded like a good idea. The resulting soup was a bit watery for my taste so I added some pasta and whizzed it up in the blender. It certainly thickened up the soup. But the solidification was near complete and the gritty texture was dire. I chucked it out for the birds - but even they left it alone.

My wife made some apple pies and baked them in the oven. We ate one which was a bit chunky on the pastry front but edible. She then forgot all about the others until one day they were rediscovered at the back of the oven. The pastry was so thick and solid and had gone so hard they have since gone down in history as the Turtles.
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