Photo: Ron Manville
Clark Frasier and the Great Cheese Explosion
As anyone who's attended a state fair can tell you, few things can't be deep-fried. There are caveats, though—just ask Clark Frasier, the co-chef and co-owner of Maine restaurants Arrows and MC Perkins Cove. He once attempted to make a Latin-inspired cheese fritter, whipping up a farmer's-cheese filling, encasing portions of it in dough and placing the little packets of deliciousness in the deep fryer. When they'd turned a beautiful deep gold color, he removed them—and then the explosions started. One fritter blew up and hit the ceiling, another went off in Frasier's face and burned his lips. When the gooey blobs had settled, Frasier figured out that the dough he'd used was too tough, so the moisture in the cheese couldn't release into the oil (and, therefore, shot out with a vengeance all over the kitchen). With a little research, Frasier might have known that it would've been better either to use a softer dough or just to fry the cheese on its own. Lesson: If you're trying something brand new (and it involves hot oil or another potentially dangerous cooking element), do a quick Google search to make sure you aren't setting yourself up for disaster.