When a reporter from the Wall Street Journal emailed me yesterday to ask for an interview about the Burnt Food Museum I thought it was a spoof – but it’s absolutely for real. Burnt food is fast becoming a gourmet delicacy.


So what a great time to celebrate some of the artists in the Burnt Food Museum who were ahead-of-their times!

Thanksgiving is a special time at the Burnt Food Museum where we’re celebrating nearly 3 decades of culinary disaster —  and this year I’d like to share some of my favorite Thanksgiving Stories from the Museum.

To see more from the Burnt Food Museum visit: Shop the Museum Store for the perfect gifts (aprons, mugs, t-shirts) for the distracted chef in YOUR life!

Special Delivery Thanksgiving

Thanks to culinary artist Susan Seegars for this piece:

I thought you might enjoy one of mine – alas, no pictures exist, though.

I put a turkey into the oven on ultra-low (low temp overnight is my usual way of doing this, makes it very tender and moist) and promptly went into early labor. I spent six days in the hospital flat on my back until they got it stopped, was sent home with orders to stay in bed until I was supposed to have the baby, and walked in to find what appeared to be a perfect (though blackened) paper-maiche’ model of a roast turkey, still cooking away.

When we tried to throw it out it was perfectly mummified and crumbled to the touch – even the bones, which appeared to be modeled out of a crumbly powder-like substance, possibly cornstarch.

We decided that this piece would have more artistic meaning if it was of an ephemeral nature, and threw it out.

Do you (or someone you love) deserve to be an Honorary Contributor to the @BurntFoodMuseum? Share on X

Deep Fried Disaster

Thanks to artist Dorothy Owens for this short piece.

“Attached is evidence of what happens when the thermometer you are using with your deep-fryer malfunctions. Apparently, cooking turkey at a bazillion degrees is not recommended.”


It Couldn’t Happen to a Better Chicken

Thanks to artist Susan Schlesinger and donor Stan Maciejewski (Susan’s Father). While this is a Memorial Day piece, it’s in such close keeping with Burnt Thanksgiving theme that I’m including it.


Susan’s father, Stan, sent this submission to the BFM with these answers to the Submission Application:

1. Title: “Well, it’s done”

2. Artist: Susan Schlesinger

3. Donor: Stan Maciejewski Susan’s father

4. Creation Date: 5/31/2004

5. Location: Susan and her husband Fred recently purchased a new home in Califon, New Jersey. They work on the house and property whenever they can to make the new home more to their liking. I, Stan, and my wife Ellie drive to the house at least once a week to see the progress. This day Sue wanted to host a Memorial Day picnic. I’m glad all the other foods were OK.

6. Original Intention: We were invited to holiday picnic at our daughter’s new house.

7. Unintended Result: Fred, Sue’s husband bought a new outdoor gas grill, Sue turned the grill on high to get the coals hot, but got involved in something else and forgot that the grill was on high. When the odor of burning chicken drifted into the pool area she realized what happened. The result… No chicken for the guests, but the two dogs had one of the best meals ever.

8. Anything else: No…

A picture of the artist admiring her own work … as well she should.


Do you (or someone you love) Deserve to be an Honorary Contributor to the Burnt Food Museum – or perhaps a Franchise Owner!?

We ALL need to celebrate our mistakes and disasters, so we can enjoy them forever.

Print out your own Certificate!  Display your disaster proudly! (Click on certificate to download, or HERE.)



Really stand in your power! Create your own Franchise Wing of the Burnt Food Museum!


Just download this PDF by clicking on the certificate image or HERE, fill it out and display it proudly in your kitchen.

I thought it was a spoof – but it’s absolutely for real. Burnt food's becoming a gourmet delicacy. Share on X

You can also Shop the Museum Store for gifts for the distracted chef in YOUR life!

And remember … never cook without a fire extinguisher handy … and make sure to celebrate all your disasters.  Life would be so boring without them.


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