What I loved about Judy Rodgers during the brief time I spent with her: She wore long skirts in the kitchen. And sweaters. I never saw her in a chef coat, and didn’t like to be called “Chef.” In evaluating food with her staff before the night’s service, she would use words such as “baroque” to describe a flavor. She held her abundant hair in a bun with No. 2 pencils. She let me work in her kitchen. She faxed me the notes she took as a 17-year-old of how the Troisgros brothers made their white veal stock. When I was making her famous ricotta gnocchi, she tasted them, told me to up the seasoning, and walked to the other side of the Zuni kitchen. I gave the batch another four-finger dose of salt. Read On »
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