Chef Dalia’s relationship with food began at a very young age. As a child, she regularly watched the cooking shows of Julia Child and Martin Yan on PBS, helped her mother in the kitchen, and would receive Ann Willan cookbooks as birthday gifts. However, like many ICE students, her professional career did not begin in food. After graduating from Indiana University, where she majored in English and studied Danish, French and Spanish, Dalia initially pursued work in the field of book publishing, with dreams of writing a book of her own.
Eventually, Chef Dalia’s passion for food overtook her interest in publishing. Starting out in Nobu’s pastry kitchen, Dalia worked her way up the ladder at such acclaimed restaurants as Layla and La Côte Basque. She later served as the Executive Pastry Chef for Veritas in Manhattan—a “jewel” of a restaurant that earned 3 stars in the New York Times—and The Dressler in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she earned high praise for her elegant desserts. Her work has been featured not only by the Times, but also by New York Magazine, the New York Daily News and USA Today, among other media outlets.
Beyond restaurant kitchens, Dalia has also worked as a test kitchen cook at Martha Stewart Living Television and served as a consultant for Play, the café at the Museum of Sex.
As an English major-turned-chef, it was only a matter of time before Dalia returned to writing. In 2009, Dalia published her memoir, SPICED: A Pastry Chef’s True Stories of Trials By Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen (Putnam Books).