For as long as she can remember Dalia Jurgensen wanted to cook. By age five she would stand on a chair at the counter next to her Danish mother, shaping frikadeller and peeling potatoes for bikser mad. She adored every detail, from baking side-by-side and shaping dough to making hearty apple cobbler-like ablecage. For her thirteenth birthday, when peers reached for romances or mysteries, she read and re-read her most treasured gift: a copy of the marvelously illustrated Grand Diplome Cooking Course. And when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she was unequivocal: she wanted to be a chef.
Yet despite her love of all things culinary, it wasn’t until her mid-twenties that Jurgensen got serious about cooking. With a conventional college degree and a couple of years in publishing behind her, she abruptly quit her job to pursue her dream and enroll in culinary school. It was a leap of faith that changed and defined her life in ways she’d never imagined. Now Jurgensen shares the delicious details in SPICED: A Pastry Chef’s True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen (Berkley Trade Paperback; April 6, 2010;$15.00), an eye-opening look at the sweet and sour of following your passion.
Refreshingly candid and simmering with kitchen drama, SPICED traces Jurgensen’s hard-earned metamorphosis from lowly pastry cook to acclaimed executive pastry chef at a three-star New York City restaurant. But SPICED is much more than a personal memoir. In the entertaining tradition of , it’s an unforgettable insider’s tour through some of Manhattan ’s finest kitchens, the first to come from a woman’s perspective.
-Courtesy of Penguin Group
I was curious to review Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and what Really Goes on in the Kitchen by Dalia Jurgensen. One of the first things to catch my eye is that one of my favorite TV personalities and chefs, Tony Bourdain, is featured commenting on the book's cover. I'm also what I call a 'wannabe foodie'... a foodie that doesn't really have the time or money to cook or experience different and new restaurants. Finally, My husband currently works in a restaurant as a bartender and waiter, and has worked in the kitchen in the past, and I've worked in restaurants. So this is the perfect book for me!
Author and executive pastry chef Dalia Jurgensen has Danish roots and always knew growing up she wanted to be a chef. After getting her degree and working in publishing for a few years, Dalia answered that calling to be a chef in her mid-twenties and quit the desk job.
Working her way up from lowly pastry chef in some of the best restaurants in Manhattan, she is now proud of her title, executive pastry chef.
Spiced is a first person culinary history that really dives right in. You get an insiders glimpse of the behind the scenes world of restaurant kitchens. I really love stories like this because it reminds me of my days in restaurants. I was a hostess and also worked at a sandwich shop.
I'm not sure if the sandwich shop really counts though... The most fun job I have ever had was when I worked as a hostess. There was lots of kooky co-workers and everyone kind of bonded together through the insanity of it all. After work parties were always a blast!
In Spiced, Dalia tells the real story of what really goes on restaurant kitchens, the after-hours exploits, and 'trials by fire'. You'll even read about her stint tasting recipes in Martha Stewart's kitchens! Yet the book gets a bit naughty when Dalia reveals a clandestine romantic affair with one of her chefs, and some of the obscene things said in the testosterone fueled kitchens!
Well I don't want to give too much away. More than anything I love Dalia's raw, tell it like it is writing style. You'll love this candid memoir about a woman and her journey to executive pastry chef! Look for it at http://www.penguin.com.
*I received a copy of Spiced to facilitate my candid and honest review. No other form of compensation was or will be given. All personal views are my own!
Giveaway ends April 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm CST. Winners chosen using Random.org. Winners will be posted on this blog and will be emailed. Winners have 72 hours from Winner announcement to reply to claim prize. Open to USA.
I'm happy to announce that I have a copy of Spiced to give away to two 512 Kidz blog readers!
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