This Is The Biggest Cooking Mistake Cat Cora Has Ever Made

When watching professional chefs on television, we see them as they perfectly sear their meat, effortlessly sauté their vegetables, and pull items out of the oven at exactly the right moment before plating them with finesse and creativity. It can be easy to feel like they never have the kind of mishaps that home cooks sometimes face. After all, they're professionals — surely they never make the kind of major errors that require changing your dinner plans last minute and just ordering a pizza because what you've produced is absolutely inedible, right?

Well, not quite. Everyone is fallible in the kitchen, and despite their years of practice, honing their technique and building up all their knowledge, you can take comfort in the fact that even professional chefs sometimes make mistakes in the kitchen. This includes the chef who made television history after becoming the first female Iron Chef on "Iron Chef America," Cat Cora. Cora is a chef, television personality, author, restaurateur, and lifestyle entrepreneur, just to name a few of the many hats she wears. Whether you've whipped up one of her recipes, watched her compete on television, or dined at one of her restaurants, there's a good chance you've been inspired by Cat Cora in the kitchen at some point — read on to see what her biggest cooking mistake ever was.

A disastrous dinner

Surprisingly, Cora's biggest ever cooking mistake actually didn't take place in the high-stress environment of a restaurant kitchen, or the equally high-stress environment of a culinary competition show. Instead, it was a mishap that occurred in her pre-"Iron Chef America" days, when she was filming a chef segment for a local San Francisco television channel. The premise of the show, as she described to Delish, was that Cora would surprise a local resident at dinner time, rummage through their pantry, and whip up a three or four course meal from whatever they had on hand. Her years of expertise and creativity as a chef should have made that challenge a piece of cake — however, the results weren't quite what she was expecting.

She likely entered the local resident's house with the intention of plating up a seriously impressive meal, and one of the menu items she had conceived after checking out what the resident had on hand was roast chicken, a simple yet crowd-pleasing dish. However, things didn't go according to plan. Somehow, the oven caught on fire during the cooking process — a mistake so big that not even Cora could recover from it and save the dish. They ended up having to extinguish the oven and, as she told Delish, "dinner was over."