A Pastry Chef's True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-HoursExploits, andWhat Really Goes on in the Kitchen
Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399155611, 288pp.
Publication Date: April 16, 2009
In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential, a revealing and entertaining insider's tour through top restaurant kitchens, told from the unique perspective of a critically acclaimed pastry chef.
Spiced is Dalia Jurgensen's memoir of leaving her office job and pursuing her dream of becoming a chef. Eventually landing the job of pastry chef for a three-star New York restaurant, she recounts with endearing candor the dry cakes and burned pots of her early internships, and the sweat, sheer determination, and finely tuned taste buds-as well as resilient ego and sense of humor-that won her spots in world-class restaurant kitchens. With wit and an appreciation for raunchy insults, she reveals the secrets to holding your own in male-dominated kitchens, surviving after-hours staff parties, and turning out perfect plates when you know you're cooking for a poorly disguised restaurant critic. She even confesses to a clandestine romance with her chef and boss-not to mention what it's like to work in Martha Stewart's TV kitchen-and the ugly truth behind the much-mythologized "family meal."
Following Dalia's personal trajectory from nervous newbie to unflappable professional, Spiced is a clever, surprisingly frank, and affectionate glimpse at the sweet and sour of following your passion.