Spiced: A Pastry Chef’s True Stories of Trials by Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen by Dalia Jurgenson was the October Kitchen Reader selection and was chosen by Libbi of Domestic Wandering.
I’m back on the food memoir train. Lately, when I struggle to find inspiration or excitement in my cooking, reading a bit of a food memoir brings me right back into it. I just can’t help but let the author’s love of food rub off on me, and find myself eager to get back in the kitchen, testing recipes.
Sadly, I was a bit disappointed by my most recent food memoir, Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen. It just didn’t have the depth of emotion and thoughtfulness of books like Blood, Bones and Butter, Jacques Pepin’s The Apprentice or Ruth Reichl’s memoirs. It almost felt as if Jurgensen was merely laying out the various jobs she had worked and the desserts she made there, without taking the time to discuss how she felt about the jobs and how her work affected her social life beyond the most basic observations. She may have been protecting her friends and family by not mentioning them much, but in doing so, she lost a lot of the depth to her story.
I give this memoir 2 stars out of 5. If you are looking for a quick and easy read, this book will fit your needs. But if you’re looking for a fantastic chef’s or food writer’s memoir, this isn’t the first book I’d recommend.
More of my book reviews can be found here.