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

Front Cover
Penguin, Apr 16, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
13 Reviews
Read Dahlia Jurgensen's posts on the Penguin Blog.

A clever and affectionate glimpse at the truth about what goes on behind that swinging door, full of "great insider stuff" (Anthony Bourdain)

Life in a restaurant kitchen is strenuous and exciting, while its inhabitants are...unique. In this testosterone-laden atmosphere, Dalia Jurgensen tirelessly pursued her dream of becoming a chef, working her way up though New York's top restaurants.

In her deliciously entertaining memoir, she divulges the dynamics between cooks and waiters, chefs and food critics, and heated affairs between staff members. Written with sincere love for the industry, this is a candid insider's tour from the unique perspective of an acclaimed pastry chef.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

Jurgensen gives a brief, clearly ghost-written story of her years as a pastry chef. The material itself is good, but hindered by the lackluster prose and lack of detail or emotional impact. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

This is a book I kept setting aside. True stories of a pastry chef? I love sweets, but how interesting could this be? But something about the author’s mischievous smile on the cover kept drawing me ... Read full review

Selected pages


ONE Getting intoNobu
FOUR Course Work FIVE Extra Virgin
EIGHT In the Line ofFire
TWELVE In theKitchen with Martha
FIFTEEN Seeing Stars SIXTEEN Check Please
NINETEEN RealityBites
TWENTYTWO A Matter ofTaste TWENTYTHREE Rolling withthe Punches

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

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.

Bibliographic information