This book by famed pastry chef Dalia Jurgensen sat on my night table for several weeks before I had time to pick it up. Once I did, I had to read it until the finish. Because my life has been steeped in incredibly dry journal articles on Library Science and its various subtopics, I was refreshed by Ms. Jurgensen's autobiography of a particular period of her life.
She tells of her fortuitous leap into the restaurant field, starting as a pastry chef at Nobu, and working her way through New York's top restaurants as well as Martha Stewart's test kitchens. What an exciting time for her!
However, there is a dark, alcoholic and sexist side to New York's kitchens. Ms. Jurgensen spills the beans on much of the seamy underbelly of this scene. When she describes in painful detail about life in these kitchens (because she doesn't mention anything about life outside the kitchens, except that in bars), it makes me very glad that I chose Library Science as a second career instead of pastry.
Don't get me wrong, I love cooking and I love cooking for others. Most importantly, baking makes me feel like all is right with the world, especially when it isn't at all. But, I couldn't do what Dalia Jurgensen does or did. It is interesting to read about though.
Check out Spiced.