Food Allergy Scare in the Test Kitchen

For the most part, I’ve been able to cook without issue in the Test Kitchen with my food allergies: legumes, including peanuts, soy, as well as a few other raw nuts. I’ve been able to cook with ingredients to which I’m allergic, touch them, and even taste them in small doses, until today.

I usually set up my station on the baking bench, which is prime real estate in the Test Kitchen. The bench gives me plenty of room to spread out and stay organized. The past couple of weeks, however, I’ve been setting up my station next to one of the stoves because I’ve been doing a lot of stove top cooking. Occasionally, another intern or test cook will hop onto one of the burners next to me.

As I was mising one of my recipes, another intern set up shop one burner over for deep frying in a Dutch oven. I felt a tingle in my throat after the oil came to temp and didn’t think much of it. I figured it was just the haze being generated from the hot oil (which was too hot) when the food hit it. I checked to make sure the hood was on, and continued with my work. Ten minutes later, the tingle was getting worse, and I knew something was up — my throat was getting scratchy and my breathing labored. I asked the intern what kind of oil she was using, and felt the blood drain out of my face when she said, “Peanut.”

I was nervous, but not in a full blown panic attack just yet — I was still able to take full breaths, but it was a struggle. I quietly excused myself and sat outside for a few minutes. Without much of a change, I knew I needed to get some Benadryl into my system fast, or I’d be going home early, possibly in an ambulence. The meds kicked in about 20 minutes later and, although I was a zombie from the allergy pill, I was thankfully alive and breathing.

I never thought I would need the Epi-pen my food allergist gave to me, but I’m definitely going to carry one with me from this day forward. Funny thing; I can have a bite of peanut butter, eat a few peanuts or legumes, and not have that kind of reaction. I guess it’s different when you’re breathing it directly into your lungs.

I suppose this means I’ll never have a career at an establishment that uses peanut oil in the fryers. Sorry Paula Deen.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
            Show more [+]
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
            Show more [+]