Chef Jurgensen dishes kitchen secrets

Tue Apr 7, 2009 4:00pm EDT
 
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Dalia Jurgensen left a promising job in publishing to pursue her dream of becoming a pastry chef but it wasn't always easy being a female in a macho kitchen environment.

In her new book, "Spiced," the 37-year-old chef at Dressler, a Michelin-star restaurant in New York, chronicles her culinary journey with an inside look at what happens at some of the city's top restaurants.

She spoke to Reuters about her experiences and what types of desserts she cooks at home.

Q: In your book you recount some wild incidents at the restaurants. Are they typical?

A: "I think it's fairly typical. There's a lot inter-staff shenanigans that go on. I think partly it's because of (people) working in such close quarters. I can't say it happens in every restaurants but it's pretty standard stuff."

Q: Most female chefs do not like to be distinguished by their gender. Do you feel the same way?

A: "What it comes down to is who does the best job. Once you've proved yourself, your being a female is secondary."

Q: What advice do have for aspiring chefs?   Continued...

 
<p>Dalia Jurgensen, the 37-year-old chef at Dressler, a Michelin-star restaurant in New York, is seen in an undated photo. REUTERS/Sarah Shatz/Handout</p>