Oops I dropped the lemon tart


Service was just about to end at Osteria Francescana (voted as one of the Top 5 restaurants in the world). It has been a long night for 3 Michelin Star Chef Massimo Bottura and his staff as they were about to serve the last two dishes of the evening: 2 Lemon Tarts.

As soon as Kondo Takahiko, Osteria Francescana’s pastry chef finished plating these last two desserts; he accidently drops one of the lemon tarts right in front of Chef Massimo. In shock, he sees half of the lemon tart on the floor, while the other half remained still on the plate, smashed into pieces.

Takahiko goes white as a ghost. He didn’t know what to do. He felt like wanting to commit suicide right there as he looked up from the fallen tart and into the eyes of Massimo.

Massimo looks at Takahiko and can see all the blood drain out of his face. He quickly yells out to Takahiko, “Taka! Wait! Look! That’s beautiful! Come over here and look! Look from my perspective!”

He quickly brings Takahiko over to show him what he sees… from his eyes. Massimo was so excited that he immediately took Takahiko back to the kitchen and they began working on a new dessert which they eventually called the now-famous signature desserts: “Oops, I dropped the lemon tart” – a deconstructed lemon tart.

3 Lessons from this…

1. Failures are only failures if you fail to learn from them and turn them into your success.

2. Willingness to make mistakes allows you to take chances at life. You will never succeed at everything, but you won’t reach it without making a mistake either.

3. Perspectives usually come from another person’s viewpoint. It is hard to see opportunity when you are deep in crisis mode. Learn to ask for another person’s perspective on your situation. It is often the best way to turn your failures into success.

Massimo and Takahiko learned a lesson from a mistake. They moved on. Took a lesson and adapted from the learning and created something new and more spectacular.