Judy Rodgers

What I knew about Judy Rodgers was that she was the food genius behind Zuni Cafe in San Francisco where I only ever ate once, for lunch, by myself so it wasn’t a classic expansive experience – like the ones I wish I had.  Chris and Skip who are readers of this blog have spoken to me on several occasions of the magical experiences they have had over the years eating at Zuni Cafe.  My friend Ansell who ran the Odeon for many years then went on to have his own very successful restaurant also spoken in glowing terms of his experiences there.

In reading all the obituaries and memories of her online this morning the one that most touched me was written by David Lebovitz, who worked with Judy at Chez Panisse and has a unique and very touching, I thought, perspective on her life and her food.   I finished reading it and thought: she was my kind of gal.   Go here and read it, well worth the time and really a wonderful insight into what makes a great cook.

Probably most famous for her wood oven roasted chicken and bread salad  which however sad I am I never got a chance to eat while she was still in the kitchen thanks to the wonders of the internet at least the recipe is easy to find online (see above link).  Many videos of Judy talking or preparing recipes – you can tell from her self-effacing presentation that she was indeed truly only interested in making delicious, well sourced food.  If you ask me that is a great accomplishment and a life well spent.

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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