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Chef/Owner of Zuni Cafe Dies

Chef/Owner of Zuni Cafe Dies
Flickr/CUESA
By Hayeswire - Published on December 03, 2013.
Judy Rodgers, who has been the chef and co-owner of Zuni Cafe since 1987, has passed away.

Rodgers reportedly died last night after a battle with cancer, according to her friend and co-owner Gilbert Pilgram. She was 57. Zuni opened at the corner of Market and Rose Streets in 1979 with a Southwestern theme, but when Rodgers came on board in 1987, she opted to take her inspiration from the cuisines of Italy and France. Under her supervision, the restaurant got a new brick oven and a revamped menu, including her now-legendary roasted chicken. It soon became one of the city's most revered restaurants. Rodgers received numerous awards over her career, including the 2004 James Beard award for Outstanding Chef in America, and similar accolades in 2003 for the restaurant itself. The Zuni Cafe Cookbook won a slew of best-of awards as well. Reaction to the news is pouring in from Bay Area chefs who were inspired by Rodgers as both a chef and a friend. If you have fond memories of Rodgers and/or Zuni, feel free to pay your respects in the comments below.