A tableside flambé is an impressive culinary technique, but it allegedly took a very dangerous turn at one restaurant where a woman says the server accidentally lit her face and hair on fire.
According to the New York Post, a lawsuit alleges that a woman named Laura Katz was eating at the Bocca East Italian restaurant on New York’s Upper East Side with her mother when a waiter preparing a tableside flambé accidentally set fire to her hair, causing terrible injuries.
The incident allegedly occurred in November, 2013. The specific dish being flambéed was not specified in the suit, and Bocca East does not currently have any flambéed dishes on the menu.
Katz’ lawsuit alleges that the restaurant was dangerously crowded when the incident took place, and that it was irresponsible for anyone to be trying to play with fire in that environment. It also says that Katz missed work and continues to require treatment for the wounds she sustained in the incident. Katz’s mother also reportedly was injured when she attempted to rescue her daughter from the flames.
The lawsuit names Bocca East’s former owner, Thomas Vito Bifulco, as the defendant. Bocca East has reportedly had a new owner for the past six months.