To Judy, With Love

Illustration by David Despau

Last December, when we found out that Judy Rodgers, a longtime SAVEUR contributing editor, had passed away, we headed to the bookshelf and pulled out her magnificent Zuni Café Cook-book (W.W. Norton & Company, 2002). Flipping through its pages brought us back to our visits to Rodgers' San Francisco restaurant over the years. It always felt like a haven, where you could order a glass of wine and a platter of succulent roast chicken and let the warmth of the place wash over you, cutting through the cold, misty fog of the surrounding city. Rodgers, the restaurant's chef and co-owner, took the helm of the Zuni kitchen in 1987, and bucked the fancy fusion trends of the time to cook locally sourced, classic, and approachable fare. In doing so, she helped set the standard for Northern California cuisine. Her rustic yet sophisticated dishes made her a local legend and a nationally recognized culinary treasure—both she and the restaurant won James Beard Awards. She will be missed throughout the culinary world.