Chow Bella

What's Your Biggest Holiday Cooking Screw-Up (And How Did You Fix It)?

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Silvana Salcido Esparza, Chef and Owner, Barrio Cafe and Barrio Queen

My biggest cooking screw-up was Christmas 1991. I was starting a new catering project, and it was my first paying gig. My staff was on site, but I got stuck at a train crossing and I had the food. I got there 15 minutes late and the host had already ordered Domino's. My staff and I went home, with hundreds of dollars worth of shrimp and finger foods, and had our own party. The following day, I signed up for culinary school in Scottsdale. To this day, I have a phobia about being late for catered events.

Chef Michael Racioppi, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel

This year we brined the turkey in Dr Pepper, black sea salt, and brown sugar, resulting in a purple turkey. Yikes! We fixed the turkey by adding extra gravy to disguise the blooper.

Chef Chris Mayo, North Fattoria Italiana

The first time I cooked a holiday dinner for my family, I tried to replicate my grandmother's sweet potato and apples dish. It never came out right and I ended up making three separate trips to the grocery store to buy more stuff. Finally, I gave up and had my mom come over early to walk me through it.

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld