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Folks stood around at Restaurant Nora for more than an hour on Tuesday, talking and eating and waiting for something to happen during a ceremony honoring Chris Fullerton, the founding manager of the Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative, who’s moving on after 14 years at the helm. Then finally, after all the small talk had been sucked out of the room, someone let us in on the secret: We were waiting for Nora Pouillon, who was getting her foot examined.
The results were not good. A bone in Pouillon’s left foot was broken, making her at least the second local toque to hit the DL in recent weeks. She was scheduled for surgery today.
“I was packing at night, and I had all these shoes out,” Pouillon says. “I caught my foot on the corner of my bed…and my foot just went like this.” She makes a painful twisting motion with her hands.
The injury didn’t stop Pouillon from traveling to Las Vegas the next day, where she went to a clinic for an exam. The doctor there said it would take 12 hours to bring in an orthopedic surgeon and suggested Pouillon instead fly to San Francisco to get her foot checked.
“I went to San Francisco to a doctor, and he just took off the [walking] cast and threw it out and said, ‘Just walk around and then have an X-ray done when you come back to Washington,'” the chef recalls.
Walking around on her banged-up foot turned out to be bad advice. The doc in D.C. “said it’s really bad. Now I have to do surgery: open it up, separate the bones, put the pin in, put screws in, do all these things,” says Pouillon, who expects to be on her feet soon after surgery.
Her injury won’t have much effect on Restaurant Nora’s operations, she says. “I’m not anywhere in the kitchen anymore anyway,” Pouillon says. But it will have an affect on her trip next month to the massive European Seafood Exposition in Brussels. “I’ll be in a cast, which is a drag,” she says, “because I have to walk a lot.”