A Pastry Chef's True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-HoursExploits, andWhat Really Goes on in the Kitchen
By Dalia Jurgensen
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399155611, 288pp.)
Publication Date: April 16, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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.
Dalia Jurgensen is executive pastry chef for the highly regarded Williamsburg, Brooklyn, restaurant Dressler. Formerly pastry chef for the three-star Manhattan restaurant Veritas, she has worked in the kitchens of acclaimed restaurants such as Nobu, Layla, and La Cote Basque. Her pastry and cooking have been widely reviewed and featured in publications including The New York Times, New York, the New York Daily News, and USA Today. Her website, www.myspicedlife.com, offers insights into restaurant kitchens, recipes, food experiences, and reviews. Jurgensen lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York.