"While I have an enormous collection of cookbooks, one of my all time favorites is The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. Her food sensibility is right up my alley and has always served as an inspiration for my cooking. Not to mention that I started my culinary career in San Francisco and ate at Zuni all the damn time!
"One of her most famous dishes would certainly be the her roasted chicken out of the wood fired oven. Since opening Tar & Roses a year ago, many patrons and one particular food critic likened our bird to that of Zuni Cafe ... an amazing compliment that I am very proud of.
"What I love in particular about her recipe in the book is the amount of attention to detail she pays, not in the cooking of the bird itself, but rather the preparation before it goes in the oven; namely choosing the right size of bird and salting it early. It is both of these practices that I employed in creating our wood fired chicken here at Tar & Roses.
"Another book that I love for very different reasons is Culinary Artistry
and the follow up book The Flavor Bible by Andrew Dornenburg. Both these books are a regular resource for me in creating new dishes at the restaurant. With thousands of ingredients to choose from to create any one dish, these books are constant go-to's when trying to think up pairings and flavors. These books are also great for home cooks looking to expand their repertoires and play with new ingredients."