clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Judy Rodgers, Chef and Cookbook Author, Dead at 57

New, 9 comments

judy-rodgers.jpgSan Francisco chef Judy Rodgers died yesterday at the age of 57. Inside Scoop SF confirmed with Rodgers' friend and business partner Gilbert Pilgram that Rodgers succumbed to her battle with cancer last night. Rodgers was chef and co-owner of Zuni Cafe since 1987, and over her tenure garnered herself and the restaurant many accolades including the Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in 2003 and the Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2004. The restaurant was famous for its dedication to local California ingredients as well as its legendary roast chicken for two. Read a recent Eater Elements in which Rodgers describes the dish. "The simplest things," Rodgers said, "are often the best."

Rodgers was also known for her bestselling cookbook The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Restaurant. The book won the Beard Award for Cooking from a Professional Point of View as well as Cookbook of the Year in 2003; the same year, it should be noted, that Zuni Cafe won Outstanding Restaurant. The cookbook also won an IACP award that year.

In the introduction to The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, Rodgers wrote:

I cannot make a dish without trying to conjure where it came from, and where I first had it, or read about it, or who made it, or taught me to make it. And who grew the vegetables, raised the chickens, or made the cheese, and where. In this way, the simplest dish can recall a community of ideas and people...I have written this book for those who wish to linger at time over details in that continuum of ideas, and who consider cooking a labor of love. Indeed, food itself is only part of the seduction of cooking.

May her memory live long in that continuum of ideas. Below, Rodgers accepts her Outstanding Chef JBFA in 2004.

Video: Judy Rodgers Wins the 2004 JBFA for Outstanding Chef

Further Reading

· Judy Rodgers Is Gone [Gurgling Cod]
· Judy Rodgers [David Lebovitz]

· Judy Rodgers of Zuni Cafe dies [ISSF]
· Outstanding Chef 2004 [JBFA]
· All Judy Rodgers Coverage on Eater [-E-]
Judy Rodgers. [Photo: F&W / Courtesy Judy Rodgers]

Zuni Cafe

1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day