Last week I spoke on a panel with my friend Melissa Clark at the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference in New York. The topic was recipe voice. As I was considering what I might say, I asked myself what it is that I hear when I read a recipe and what I want my readers to hear when I write one. I immediately thought about Judy Rodgers' book, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook
, and how it was her recipe voice that first caught my attention as something unique: it was playful, breezy, sometimes annoyingly lengthy, and full of wit and memorable lessons, particularly her five-page recipe for roast chicken.