As a high school student, Judy Rodgers was placed by a benevolent fate on the doorstep of the Troisgros Brothers' three-star restaurant in Roanne, France. For more than a year, she watched closely, tasted relentlessly, and recorded every culinary thing she could. Won over by la cuisine?hile also taking time out to earn a degree at Stanford?he continued her explorations by cooking in the southwest of France, then headed for Tuscany, Umbria, and Sicily, and later Catalonia and Greece, always in search of honest cuisine g??euse, and always taking notes. In 1987, Judy arrived at San Francisco's Zuni Caf? eager to share the bounty she had amassed. Through years of creating daily menus for the caf? she nurtured all the culinary traditions she observed in her travels, adapting them to the emerging traditions of Californian cooking. At last, after years of anticipation, The Zuni Caf?Cookbook is here and lets you share in and enjoy the repertory Judy has developed that continues to captivate locals and travelers alike. Chef-owner Judy Rodgers has assembled a generous collection of her recipes and woven them together with a lifetime's worth of culinary lore. She walks you through each dish, providing friendly explanations of the how and why of every step?ou'll feel she is standing next to you in the kitchen as you cook. Crystal-clear essays on deciding what to cook, shopping for your food, and the habit of tasting will liberate the inexperienced cook and provide new insight for the experienced. Judy's ideas on roasting, braising, and pastry-making break new ground. And her "Practice of Salting Early" may forever change how you cook. You'll find the world-famous Zuni Roast Chicken and Caesar Salad as well as the Zuni Hamburger and the very special Espresso Granita. Along the way you'll find advice on serving oysters, as well as how to endow a simple salad with finesse and heart and how to assemble a modest but exquisite cheese course. You'll learn what makes a stock for a soup or sauce extraordinary, duck confit succulent, and what makes a risotto silky and rich. Judy will also convince you to make her favorite "labor-of-love-intensive" dishes?raised oxtails, a fragrant porchetta, graisserons, and a treasury of rabbit recipes. This is honest, yet sophisticated, food from the heart. Designed as it is for cooks, The Zuni Caf?Cookbook is also a treat for readers who enjoy curling up with a cookbook at night. Colorful stories are interspersed among the recipes and cooking lessons to deepen your understanding of the art of cooking and how its careful practice can enrich daily life. Judy's fine prose will draw you into the process, making reading her instructions as easy and satisfying as eating her food. Offering a new way to think about ingredients, and the act of cooking, The Zuni Caf?Cookbook is a masterwork, bringing together the ideas and practices of one of the most skilled cooks and food writers today. Twenty-four color photographs display, in gorgeous detail, the earthy, sensual food for which Zuni is known. Fifty black-and-white photographs illustrate technique throughout the text. Wine suggestions from Zuni devotee and preeminent wine connoisseur Gerald Asher accompany the recipes.