Customer Reviews for

Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-HoursExploits, andWhat Really Goes on in the Kitchen

Average Rating 3.5
( 24 )
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(9)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Spiced is my first eBook on my nook and what a great read!

    I held off buying Spiced until I received my nook and what a great choice as my first eBook. One can't help but like Dalia as a person, and admire her as a pastry chef. The pace of the book was perfect, she didn't rush through any parts, and didn't offer anything that I felt did not belong in there. Her focus was strictly on her experience as a pastry chef and the path she took in getting to where she ended up.
    Great read and one I'm sure many lovers of "kitchen" memoirs would enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen

    Spiced, a memoir by Dalia Jurgensen throws open the kitchen doors, giving the reader an insider's look at restaurant work. From dishwashers to executive chefs, she spares none and tells all. This book is better than reality TV! I loved the descriptions; you can almost smell the chocolate in the molten chocolate cake.

    Some details I could have done without, such as an extremely brief lesbian encounter but this was part of her experience. She goes on to tell what it was like to be reviewed by top food editors, of being part of the staff that opens a brand new restaurant and the thrill of developing recipes for Martha Stewart's television show. Spiced is a fly on the wall experience you won't want to miss.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2009

    Great memoir

    I often read about male chefs but not too much is out there from a female's perspective. Finally, there is something from a woman's voice! When I went to culinary school, I was 1 out of 3 girls in a group of 20 students. There were not many women to relate to. Reading the book comforted me because I learned that another woman experienced the same trials I underwent while in a kitchen. Spiced is a book I would recommend to women who have been chefs for a while, as well as young women looking to get into the field. It's a wealth of support and guidance for those looking to find their way through a macho business.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2009

    Honest and Intriguing! Would love to hear more...

    I couldn't get enough of "Spiced". There's something about the ease and cleverness of Ms. Jurgensen's writing that makes this book such an addicting read. Admittedly, I am intrigued with the NYC restaurant industry, but, there's enough in here (self exploration, romance, success in the ultimate boys' club, etc) to entertain all different types of readers. Ms. Jurgensen's detailed and exciting journey left me looking forward to her next book... I was thoroughly engaged in the details of her relationships and I hope that she maps out the years of her life following SPICED in the near future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2009

    Hungry for more...

    Not being much of a "foodie" myself, I came to this book with limited expectations and found myself more than pleasantly surprised. Not only was it often laugh out loud funny, but this memoir delivers the inside scoop on high-end restaurants while charting a personal journey as Jurgensen makes the brave and dangerous decision to give up her secure office job and realize her dream of being a chef.

    The book starts with her first job trailing at Nobu, scooping ice-cream for celebrities like Woody Allen, and ends with her having become an accomplished pastry chef in her own right at a three-star restaurant in New York City. While Jurgensen describes the seedy underbelly of the restaurant world in detail, she never succumbs to gossip-mongering. This is a judicious, honest portrait, showcasing the artistry of great food and great cooks while revealing the dark side of the industry. As a woman in a man's world, Jurgensen somehow manages to rise above the sexist banter and ribbing, placing it in its context while never feeling sorry for herself or whining about how tough it all is. More importantly, and this is where I was really hooked in, this is a deeply personal narrative of a young woman finding herself and earning the respect she deserves despite the odds. We watch her brave the long hours and sugar burns, over-sized egos and late-night debauchery, and still, somehow, keep her cool and find the funny side. It's a rocky road, never more so when she finds herself embroiled in a dangerous love affair with her chef. I won't reveal how it all turns out-you'll just have to read it yourself to find out. For the cooking enthusiast, there's a lot to love here, including luscious descriptions of food that had me salivating along with a ton of insider tips that I, personally, will leave to the experts. Whether you love food or not, you'll finish this book hungry for more from this promising new writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It's a hard-knock life: Jurgensen's fair warning to those with culinary aspirations

    For those of you who, like me, often dream of swapping a desk job for a pastry station, Dalia Jurgensen's Spiced is a revelation. Literally. Who knew the waters of kitchen politics would be as difficult to navigate as those of the typical office?

    While Jurgensen begins her journey, intending to become a chef, her experiences lead her to ultimately choose pastry. The mainly male-oriented profession leads to some predictable, testosterone-driven antics, and the restaurant hierarchy seems, at times, genuinely medieval. But the author's passion for food shines, as does her occasionally unflattering honesty.

    Jurgensen's hopscotching through disparate jobs for famed and failed restaurants in a lengthy, resume-building tour of New York City hotspots proves an interesting read, whether or not you have a culinary career in mind. From working the pastry station at Nobu to freelancing as a recipe developer for Martha Stewart, Jurgensen shares industry insight and a few dirty secrets along the way.

    And if at the end of the book, you're still itching to cook, don't say you weren't warned.

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun to read

    I found the book entertaining and a quick read. It detailed the working environment of a restaurant kitchen w/ its stresses and comical moments. Some were one and the same. Ms. Jurgensen's writing was never boring nor tedious. It was light and quite humorous making the reader want to learn more. It was fun! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    A Delicious Page-Turner

    I thoroughly enjoyed this smart and funny tale about a pastry chef's rise to culinary success. Dalia Jurgensen unbelievably snags a coveted gig at Nobu with zero pastry experience. From there she moves from restaurant to restaurant, sweet to savory, in mostly unforgiving, male-dominated environments. She gains priceless experience, makes lifelong friendships, has her heart broken a few times, searches her soul while she perfects her pastry, and in the end, she discovers happiness both in and out of the kitchen. If you love food, romance, and find "back of house" restaurant stories utterly fascinating, this is a must-read for you!

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    a page turner

    My only criticism of this book is that it sometimes made me hunger for meals I can't afford and other times made me lose my appetite, but that's just because Ms. Jurgensen paints a crystal clear picture of the atmosphere of various renowned NYC kitchens. This book, however, is not just about food. There are hysterical antics and a myriad of restaurant characters, who we come to know effortlessly in her account of her coming of age in the restaurant industry. I found this author's style of writing to be incredibly efficient, in that she serves us just the right amount of information and detail to intimate us with her and her world. There's some romance, some sizzle, and a good dose of humility and humor that makes for an incredibly entertaining and hard to put down read.

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    Posted June 25, 2010

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    Posted December 21, 2009

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    Posted September 16, 2010

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    Posted April 3, 2009

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