Remembering Zuni Café’s Judy Rodgers

Zuni Cafe

I was invited to after-work drinks by my dear friend Johnni. He said that everyone was meeting at Zuni Café around 7:00pm. I never heard of the place and only found it because it was near two favorite shops, Flax and Bell’occhio. Little did I know that Zuni would become our regular meeting spot. This was back in the late 80’s when music was spectacular, Das Club was the rage, and Zuni was a place to eat, drink, and be seen (and still is). The Zuni Caesar Salad and Shoestring Potatoes were must-have dishes for any pre-dinner or pre-club meal, as well as Sunday brunch. On special occasions, I ordered the Roasted Chicken with warm Bread Salad, which I now make every Sunday for our family supper. As I look back at the wonderful meals I’ve shared with family and friends, my head is filled with images of house cured anchovies, Kumamotos, Black Mission figs, Zuni Juices, in-house cocktails, and slices of Gâteau Victoire. I was always amazed how Judy Rodgers could create robust and complex flavors from the most simple ingredients. A chef, an artist, and, as my husband simply said “a true original”, she will be missed.

Judy Rodgers Zuni
Image from Bon Appétit Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company

This is a lovely memoriam written by Andrew Knowlton. Read more about Judy Rodgers at SF Eater, NY Times, and LA Times.

RIP Judy Rodgers

One thought on “Remembering Zuni Café’s Judy Rodgers

  1. Oh my! Good Lord, Steve makes her Zuni Chicken regularly (well not regularly enough and I LOVE that you have it every Sunday). Can’t believe she’s gone – what a tragedy… and what an incredible gift she has shared with the world… we will make her fantastic Zuni Chicken this week, flip through her stained cookbook (practically in tatters) and toast her legacy this week… xo Jenny

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