The River Café (London)
The River Café is a restaurant in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London, specialising in Italian cuisine. It was owned and run by chefs Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray until Gray's death in 2010; since then, Rogers has been the sole owner and has run the restaurant.
The restaurant is located on the north bank of the Thames in Hammersmith, in the former Duckhams oil storage facility. The facility was modified to alternative use by architect Lord Rogers, who is the husband of Ruth Rogers (Lady Rogers). (The nearest railway station is Hammersmith tube station). The restaurant originally opened in 1987 as the employee café of the architectural partnership. The restaurant has a garden area with views of the River Thames.
Signature dishes include: wild mushroom risotto; Dover sole and John Dory smoked in the restaurant's own wood stove; and rich Italian desserts including lemon almond cake and the chocolate "Nemesis" cake.
The River Café is also notable for the number of successful chefs that have trained in its kitchens. These include Theo Randall, Sam and Sam Clark of Moro, Ed Baines of Randall & Aubin, April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig (New York), Jessica Boncutter of Bar Jules in San Francisco, Steve Parle of The Dock Kitchen (London), Steve Beadle of The Hove Kitchen (Brighton) and celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Tobie Puttock.
Cookery books and recognition
Gray and Rogers have written six successful cookbooks, including Italian Easy and The London River Café Cook Book. Their first book, Italian Country Cookbook won both the Glenfiddich Award for Food Book of the Year and the BCA Illustrated Book of the Year Awards. Rogers and Gray have since presented a 12-part series for Channel 4, The Italian Kitchen.
- Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers - The River Café Cook Book (Ebury Press, 1996) ISBN 0-09-181255-0
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