You might think that if you were catering a huge event with the likes of Kofi Annan in attendance, your kitchen would benefit from having two smart people in charge—but Wolfgang Ban, chef at New York restaurants Seasonal, Edi & the Wolf and The Third Man, knows better. He and another chef were both at the helm for such a dinner party. The first three courses went off without a hitch, but when it came time for dessert (a notoriously fickle soufflé), having two bosses turned out to be a catastrophe. Both men were giving directions to the waitstaff, each probably thinking the other one had his eye on the soufflés. Ban took a casual glance at the oven—his partner had this one covered, right?—and saw flames. The chefs came up with a plan-B dessert (a pancake-type confection, as Ban recalls), but looking back, Ban says, "It's always good to have one chef instead of two, no matter how big the event."
Next: 7 ways to rebound from any cooking disaster—fast