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Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Dalia Jurgensen

Your lack of experience doesn't bother me, Jurgensen's first boss in a restaurant kitchen told her. It just means... you haven't learned any bad habits yet. From that auspicious beginning, Jurgensen, pastry chef at Dressler in Brooklyn, makes a few mistakes … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Dalia Jurgensen
Publisher: Putnam Adult
1 review about Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories of...

Very enjoyable

  • Apr 5, 2009
This is a book in the same category as Kitchen Confidential, but this time it is from a woman's point of view. It is also lighter-weight than that book, and it moved right along with a breezy, first person style that was very enjoyable.

At some point in their lives, most people who are interested in food and cooking start thinking about working in or owning a restaurant. But, the culture of the kitchen is not appealing to most, particularly if you've outgrown your post-college drinking and clubbing years. The kitchen is noisy, hot, and frantic. The people in it are crude, rude, and (at least after work) drunk. It doesn't have much to do with the actual food, which is the interesting revelation behind this kind of book.

I was a little concerned that it would focus on the pastry because Dalia (or Dolly, as she is often called in the kitchen) starts out as one. I like to cook, but I've never been much for baking. Luckily, she soon moves on to the appetizers, than the grill, and things start really hopping.

I thought she did a great job of getting across the feel of the kitchen, the culture of the restaurant, and the socializing that happens at night, when work is over. It takes a certain kind of personality to make it through those early years, and I can tell you this: it isn't for me!

Sean P. Logue, 2009

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