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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 (2009)

Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen (2009)
Rating
3.28 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0399155619 (ISBN13: 9780399155611)
languge
English
publisher
Putnam Adult
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Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories ...
Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories Of Trials By Fire, After-Hours Exploits, And What Really Goes On In The Kitchen (2009)

About book: Here's the thing, there are a lot better chef memoirs on the book shelves; this one's okay.Dalia Jergensen up and leaves her day job to trail a pastry chef at Nubo. Having already signed up for cooking school she soon quits her desk job and works her way up the restaurant cook ladder. She gets oil burns, same as all the other chefs; she gets no respect, same as all the other newbie chefs; she slowly gains confidence, same as all the other new chefs; she gets confused about the restaurant social ladder, same...It's a chef story that doesn't bring anything new to the reader. And it's not as well told as others I have read.I loved Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton; I liked Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson; I enjoyed Heat by Bill Buford, and all of Ruth Reichl's memoir/food books. Spiced is okay but it lacks spice. I didn't really enjoy this book - not because it's a bad book, but because it made me angry, even though the author didn't say anything I didn't already know. It's a really realistic portrait of life in a restaurant kitchen - for a woman, it can be hell on earth until you develop such a thick skin that the level of misogyny and homophobia among cooks and chefs just stops bothering you. Some restaurants are great places to work, but the majority are still basically clubhouses for 12 year old boys who giggle over the word "boobies."Why would anyone do that to themselves? In Jurgensen's case, it's her passionate love for the craft of cooking; that love has to be strong enough that it's worth all the hardships, not the least of which are terrible hours and even worse pay with little recognition. The cult of celebrity chefs is mostly laughed at by people actually working in the restaurant industry, and it's easy to see why. As far as the book itself, it was pretty entertaining, though it never really feels like it goes anywhere. The author is an engaging writer, but there's no narrative curve, no real point - it ends very abruptly with the author going from "I was working in this kitchen with horrible people" to "hey, maybe I'll have a baby," within the space of a single page, and that's kind of it. It's like someone yelled, "Dalia, you've got five minutes to finish that book or we'll shoot this puppy!" I was left staring at the Acknowledgments page thinking, "...hey, I was reading that!"
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Reviews
Ash
Missed the mark most of the time; I found most of the stories truncated and predictable
Pam
This book was well written I was just expecting more from it. Hard to put into words .
lucy
Fun look into the kitchens of high-end New York restaurants.
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