Under Judy Rodgers’ (1956–2013) tenure as executive chef, San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe transformed from a tired Southwestern eatery into a beacon of the increasingly distinct and noteworthy California cuisine, driven by local and seasonal produce and harnessed by technically exacting chefs.
Rodgers, an alum of Chez Panisse, is a generous cookbook writer, offering not only recipes for Zuni’s most popular dishes—notably the roast chicken over bread salad and the ricotta gnocchi—but also detailed insight into the hows and whys intuitive to professionals but less so to home cooks. The technical advice she offers is what sets The Zuni Cookbook (2002) apart and lands it, rightfully, on a shelf of perennial classics.
Whether in the hands of a professional chef or a weekend dabler, Zuni is a book that creates better cooks. No library is complete without it. We offer here a Near Fine second printing signed to Karen and Mark with the inscription “Always cook with heart.”
This book is also available new and unsigned here.