A Pastry Chef’s Savory Start—Meet Chef Dalia

From blog.ice.edu by Institute of Culinary Education
A Pastry Chef’s Savory Start—Meet Chef Dalia

Growing up, Dalia Jurgensen always knew she wanted to cook. But, like many ICE students, she also wanted to pursue a four-year college education. After graduating with a degree in English, Dalia tried her hand at a career in the publishing industry, but soon realized that working in a traditional office environment wasn’t a good fit.

Chef Dalia Jurgensen

“By then, I knew I wanted to go to culinary school, but didn’t want to repeat college by going the traditional two-to-four year CIA route,” Dalia explains. Instead, she got a job as an entry-level pastry cook at Nobu and attended a part-time culinary school program on the weekends.

Since then, Dalia has worked in a number of celebrated NYC kitchens, from Veritas to the Dressler. She has also found time to publish a memoir, SPICED, recounting the rewards and challenges of a life in the kitchen, as well as a few outrageous behind-the-scenes stories.

When it comes to teaching at ICE, Dalia says, “I like teaching even more than I thought I would, in large part because of the kind of people who want to go into cooking; many of us feel that we don’t fit in more traditional roles. I like encouraging students to see that there’s more than one path to success, and that, through discipline and hard work, they can discover for themselves what they’re capable of, rather than having someone else decide for them.”

Read more to learn how Dalia's culinary training and passion for pastry have shaped her dynamic career and teaching philosophy at ICE.