Post-shift dives and snack shops with the author and Dressler pastry chef
Even though Dressler pastry chef Dalia Jurgensen has cooked in New York for almost 15 years, working both the sweet and savory side at La Côte Basque, Veritas and Tonic (RIP), she's still a relative unknown. Call it modesty, call it destiny. Call it about to change. Next week, Jurgensen releases her memoir, "Spiced," a very dishy look at a woman's journey from Nobu upstart to running her own kitchen. [Read our full interview with the author.]
It's a sometimes brutal, all-the-time honest journey peppered with nasty injuries, a lesbian love scene and lots of pastry talk—the chef's inner-struggle with serving the fan favorite, and blasé, molten chocolate cake is particularly rich food porn. She also vividly writes about the longtime chef tradition of drinking heavily, post-shift.
What follows is trip we recently took with Jurgensen and friends, including Extra Virgin chef-owner Joey Fortunato, to discover some of the dives and snack shops the industry likes to wind down (or up) at. And though many of her favorites are long gone (Coney Island High, Rat Bar, Sam DeMarco's restaurant in the East Village), a few standbys still remain.
By Matt Rodbard; photos by Sam Horine