The Biggest Mistakes New Chefs Commonly Make

As professional chefs, we’re sure you’ve seen your fair share of at-home cooks doing things in the kitchen that make you cringe (or have a heart attack). We’re talking putting good knives in the dishwasher, cooking everything at high heat or using endless packets of premade sauce mixes.

But is it just at-home cooks that make the odd mistake? We’ve put together some of the best (or worst) mistakes we’ve heard chefs commonly make while on the job. Because, let’s face it, sometimes it’s nice to hear that even some of the best chefs make mistakes, and are only human too.

The old salt instead of sugar (or vice versa)

A cake certainly isn’t the same when you use salt instead of sugar, and macerating fruit for a cocktail certainly makes it taste a bit different.

Forgetting to check the size of your door

Speaking of cakes – if you’re making a massive one, measure your door. Otherwise it’ll be stuck in the kitchen where no one can see its splendour.

Accidentally turning the oven to ‘grill’ instead of ‘warm’

That moment when you want to keep something warm – say a Christmas Turkey for - and you put it in the oven but set it to grill instead of warm. Anyone call for extra crispy (aka burnt) skin? 

Grating butter

Because when it is cold it looks just like cheese, but it sure doesn’t do the same thing on a pizza.   

The case of band-aid garnish

Normally you put a band-aid AND a rubber glove over a cut, but when you’re in a rush you might find yourself skipping the second step. Big mistake, as you might end up garnishing a meal with a less than appetising addition.

A falling knife has no handle

Our favourite chef proverb. Don’t try to catch a falling blade, just get out of its way!

You’ll be surprised how many mistakes chefs are willing to fess up to in their careers. It seems everyone has been there and these are obviously some of the more ‘oh no’ moments. But don’t forget that sometimes some of the best culinary inventions have been borne of blunders that went from ‘oh no’ to ‘oh wow’ moments. So, keep your head up and keep laughing at yourself – it’s more fun that way.

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