Cover image for The Zuni Cafe cookbook
The Zuni Cafe cookbook
Rodgers, Judy, 1956-2013.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2002]

Physical Description:
547 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm
Subject Term:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX714 .R614 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
TX714 .R614 2002 Adult Non-Fiction New Materials

On Order



For twenty-four years, in an odd and intimate warren of rooms, San Franciscans of every variety have come to the Zuni Café with high expectations and have rarely left disappointed.

In The Zuni Café Cookbook , a book customers have been anticipating for years, chef and owner Judy Rodgers provides recipes for Zuni's most well-known dishes, ranging from the Zuni Roast Chicken to the Espresso Granita. But Zuni's appeal goes beyond recipes. Harold McGee concludes, "What makes The Zuni Café Cookbook a real treasure is the voice of Zuni's Judy Rodgers," whose book "repeatedly sheds a fresh and revealing light on ingredients and dishes, and even on the nature of cooking itself." Deborah Madison ( Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone ) says the introduction alone "should be required reading for every person who might cook something someday."

Author Notes

Judy Rodgers was born on October 28, 1956. As a 16-year-old exchange student in France, she stayed with the family of Jean Troisgros, who happened to run Les Frères Troisgros, a restaurant in Roanne. There she absorbed a culture in which ingredients, cooking and eating were venerated. She received a degree in art history from Stanford University in 1978. After graduating, she started cooking lunches at Chez Panisse in Berkeley with no formal training. Thus began her career as a chef. After working in restaurants in Italy, France, and New York, she ended up at Zuni Café in 1987. She wrote The Zuni Café Cookbook in 2002. She died of appendix cancer on December 2, 2013 at the age of 57.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Rodgers, chef-owner of the Zuni Cafe, cooks like a dream and writes like one, too. Both an extended tutorial and an autobiography in recipes, the book opens with a fascinating account of her formative experiences as a 16-year-old in Roanne, France, where she spent a year at a three-star restaurant taking reams of notes and occasionally peeling vegetables. The introduction is followed by a series of brief, thoughtful essays on the practice of cooking. While readers in the market for a few quick supper ideas might greet so much preamble with impatience not until the eighth chapter does she get around to some recipes most will appreciate her insistence on principles like "What to Think About Before You Start" and "Finding Flavor and Balance." In stunning detail, she explains how to salt a cod and cure a rabbit and brine a fowl and stuff a sausage. One would not be surprised to turn a page and find a description of how to slaughter a sheep. The book includes the recipes that have made her reputation, such as the Zuni Roast Chicken with Bread Salad, plus other fare from appetizers through dessert like Oxtails Braised in Red Wine and Shrimp Cooked in Romesco with Wilted Spinach. Unlike many chefs who style themselves as creative forces, Rodgers has a deep sense of how, as she puts it, "the simplest dish can recall a community of ideas and people." Rodgers's cookbook embodies that ideal beautifully. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Rogers has been running San Francisco's Zuni Cafe for decades, and this book provides much insight into the restaurant and recipes for its best-known dishes. Much more than a souvenir collection of restaurant recipes, the volume is at times a philosophical treatise on how to eat and cook. Rogers begins with an introduction that describes how she became a chef and went to work at the cafe. Other sections, including "What To Think About BeforeYou Start," continue her leisurely pace and gentle instruction. Like Alice Waters, Rogers pays special attention to the quality of her ingredients and frequently calls for specialty goods to which not all cooks have easy access, but she's never didactic. She wants her readers to pay attention to and respect their food. Extensive headnotes lead most recipes; new cooks may be overwhelmed by the amount of information and the sophisticated techniques, but experienced cooks will find every page worth reading. While not an essential purchase for public libraries with tight budgets and limited patron demand for cookbooks, this lovely book is highly recommended for extensive cookery collections. (Index and photos not seen.)-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.