In Memory of Judy Rodgers: Gorgeous Photos From Inside Zuni Cafe

The legendary San Francisco chef—and her roast chicken for two—revolutionized California cuisine.

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Judy Rodgers, the woman famous for being the chef-partner of the Zuni Café since 1987, and for writing the brilliant Zuni Cafe Cookbook, died this morning, reports SFist.

The legendary San Francisco chef was an inspiration—Rodgers’ most frequently given advice was “always cook with heart.” This philosophy came through in every dish that emerged from the Zuni Cafe kitchen, including the restaurant’s famous “roast chicken for two,” a crisp-skinned whole chicken served with bread salad soaked in glorious chicken jus, tossed with currants, pine nuts, and greens. This dish has been called “a key building block in the evolution of California cuisine,” a statement which can undoubtedly be applied to Zuni Cafe as a whole.

The perfect lunch, one might argue, can be had at Zuni. On a recent trip to San Francisco, I went to Zuni for my final meal. The sun washed over a table filled with Pacific oysters, a bottle of Rosé, and a plate of that immaculate roast chicken. But I’m not from San Francisco, and I’m sure the residents of that great city will miss Judy Rodgers’ presence more than I ever will.

Here’s what chefs and food writers had to say about her passing:

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