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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 along the way (one time, she managed to burn a hole in the bottom of a pot while trying to melt chocolate), although she steadily improves, landing jobs at several impressive Manhattan restaurants (with an interlude as a chef for Martha Stewart's TV show). In this amiable narrative, she describes various pitfalls: a hookup with one of her bosses eventually settles into a dating relationship; when they break up, it's right back to work for Jurgensen ever the professional. The edgy backstage atmosphere will be instantly familiar to fans of chef memoirs, but Jurgensen's promise of a feminine perspective to the sexist environment is barely fulfilled by the indifferent telling of a few raunchy anecdotes and her insistence that she got over it because she had no other choice. Individually, the stories are never anything less than entertaining, but when they're put together it feels like there's one more ingredient missing—an elusive something that would make a good dish great.(Apr.)
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ISBN-10:  0399155619
ISBN-13:  978-0399155611
Author:  Dalia Jurgensen
Publisher:  Putnam Adult
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review by . April 05, 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 …
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