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Zuni Cafe Cookbook

Zuni Cafe Cookbook

4.0 3
by Judy Rodgers, Gerald Asher (With)

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For twenty-four years, in an odd and intimate warren of rooms, San Franciscans of every variety have come to the Zuni Café with high expectations and have rarely left disappointed.
In The Zuni Café Cookbook, a book customers have been anticipating for years, chef and owner Judy Rodgers provides recipes for Zuni's most well-known dishes, ranging


For twenty-four years, in an odd and intimate warren of rooms, San Franciscans of every variety have come to the Zuni Café with high expectations and have rarely left disappointed.
In The Zuni Café Cookbook, a book customers have been anticipating for years, chef and owner Judy Rodgers provides recipes for Zuni's most well-known dishes, ranging from the Zuni Roast Chicken to the Espresso Granita. But Zuni's appeal goes beyond recipes. Harold McGee concludes, "What makes The Zuni Café Cookbook a real treasure is the voice of Zuni's Judy Rodgers," whose book "repeatedly sheds a fresh and revealing light on ingredients and dishes, and even on the nature of cooking itself." Deborah Madison (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone) says the introduction alone "should be required reading for every person who might cook something someday."

Editorial Reviews

Harold McGee
“A unique and rich resource, for fans of the restaurant and for food lovers everywhere.”
Deborah Madison
“[S]hould be required reading for every person who might cook something someday.”
five star review Bookmarks
“The Zuni Café Cookbook was the best reviewed in 2002. The critics love Rodgers's writing, some claiming that the introductory section alone should be required reading for anyone who ever wants to cook.... Rodgers has helped define California cuisine, and this cookbook captures it well.”
New York Times
“This year's best cookbook—the one people are still likely to be talking about, and cooking from, 20 years down the line.... Just opening this book up is like plunking down the needle on one of those old LP's that tells you, on first listen, that you've made a friend you're going to keep for the rest of your life.”
"Year's Ten Best in Food" Newsweek
“Authenticity, roots, craft; recipes deft as short stories. If you're buying only one, this is it.”
Christopher Kimball - Cook's Illustrated
“This marriage of seasoned European sensibility and California café culture is the best of both worlds, and it's the reason why you should rush out and buy this book.”
Fine Cooking Editors
“Perhaps more valuable than anything else in Judy Rodgers' impressive The Zuni Café Cookbook is the wisdom of her detailed writings, present in recipes from a simple crostini to an elaborate multi-step braise. Rodgers' understated sensibilities, borne of many years of cooking, illuminate the book's creative composition and leave the reader with not just a great set of recipes, but with an education, too.”
Russ Parsons - Los Angeles Times
“Better than the cuisine, though, is the writing—and how many restaurant cookbooks can you say that about? Even the recipes are a joy to read.”
The chef and owner of San Francisco's beloved eatery presents her mouthwatering signature recipes enlivened with a winning take on the art of cooking in this food lover's dream book.
Publishers Weekly
Rodgers, chef-owner of the Zuni Cafe, cooks like a dream and writes like one, too. Both an extended tutorial and an autobiography in recipes, the book opens with a fascinating account of her formative experiences as a 16-year-old in Roanne, France, where she spent a year at a three-star restaurant taking reams of notes and occasionally peeling vegetables. The introduction is followed by a series of brief, thoughtful essays on the practice of cooking. While readers in the market for a few quick supper ideas might greet so much preamble with impatience not until the eighth chapter does she get around to some recipes most will appreciate her insistence on principles like "What to Think About Before You Start" and "Finding Flavor and Balance." In stunning detail, she explains how to salt a cod and cure a rabbit and brine a fowl and stuff a sausage. One would not be surprised to turn a page and find a description of how to slaughter a sheep. The book includes the recipes that have made her reputation, such as the Zuni Roast Chicken with Bread Salad, plus other fare from appetizers through dessert like Oxtails Braised in Red Wine and Shrimp Cooked in Romesco with Wilted Spinach. Unlike many chefs who style themselves as creative forces, Rodgers has a deep sense of how, as she puts it, "the simplest dish can recall a community of ideas and people." Rodgers's cookbook embodies that ideal beautifully. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Rogers has been running San Francisco's Zuni Cafe for decades, and this book provides much insight into the restaurant and recipes for its best-known dishes. Much more than a souvenir collection of restaurant recipes, the volume is at times a philosophical treatise on how to eat and cook. Rogers begins with an introduction that describes how she became a chef and went to work at the cafe. Other sections, including "What To Think About BeforeYou Start," continue her leisurely pace and gentle instruction. Like Alice Waters, Rogers pays special attention to the quality of her ingredients and frequently calls for specialty goods to which not all cooks have easy access, but she's never didactic. She wants her readers to pay attention to and respect their food. Extensive headnotes lead most recipes; new cooks may be overwhelmed by the amount of information and the sophisticated techniques, but experienced cooks will find every page worth reading. While not an essential purchase for public libraries with tight budgets and limited patron demand for cookbooks, this lovely book is highly recommended for extensive cookery collections. (Index and photos not seen.)-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI

Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet the Author

Judy Rodgers (1956—2013) was chef and owner of the Zuni Café in San Francisco.

Gerald Asher is a lifelong devotee to wine. Wine editor of Gourmet for 30 years, he has been honored for his writing and work in the international wine trade. He holds the Order of the Mérite Agricole from the French government and is an inductee of California’s Vintners’ Hall of Fame.

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Zuni Cafe Cookbook 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my 'desert island' cookbook: if I could only have one, I'd take Zuni along. The idea behind the food is simplicity and elegance. The explanations are clear and aren't annoyingly trimmed of important details, as has become the vogue with some recent cookbooks. And the results from my kitchen have never been less that spectacular. As I type, I'm sitting over a bowl of pappa al pomodoro soup, and its silky, steamy, rustic flavors are scrape-the-pot good. This is no soupy mess as so many pappa al pomodoros turn out. No, the Zuni recipe is all about the elemental flavor of tomatoes¿now-sweet and now-tart, bright and fragrant¿slicked and enriched with plenty of good, fruity olive oil and bathing soft, swollen bread. This whole cookbook is planned on that theme: simple ideas, but combined in a way that elevates the whole thing to the divine. That said, this is not a cookbook for cooks interested in making 'good down-home cooking'. This is for people who are a little more serious about the art of food. It helps a lot to already have experience in basic French techniques. You don't have to be a gourmet chef, by any means 'Not at all! I'm just a home cook who likes fabulous food enough to be adventurous', but this is written for the skill level of people who will have a little imagination with the recipes once they've mastered the basics. Complaints of 'not finding exotic ingredients' may be related to this: I don't live in California or the US, but I've found that I can successfully substitute fresh local produce if I'm imaginative, and the basic techniques for the recipes hold true. So don't be afraid to play around! And for goodness sakes, buy this cookbook!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ladies if you looking for a book that will give you new ideas for new dishes to make for family and friends, then I do NOT recommend this book. I have lived overseas for the past 10 years because of my husbands work, and I find myself limited on ingredients (not too terribly) but you won't find an ounce of duck fat in my kitchen. So with limited time, and an imagination in need of a boost this cookbook didn't seem directed at your 'everyday' cook. Didn't care for it at all, and didn't enjoy trying to figure out what an ingredient was or what a phrase may or may not mean in French.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an amazing cookbook! Full of detail and delicious recipes that aren't too hard to make. Voted one of the best cookbooks of the year by the New York Times.