River Café Cookbook

By Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

Original Publisher
Ebury Press
Date of publication

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Recommended by

Rachel de Thample

Head of Fantastic Food at Abel & Cole

Simplicity is what the River Café is all about. It’s also what I love about the layout of this book: it's so clean, clear and focused. The best part, of course, is the recipes. This book is packed with gems I make, and will continue to make, over and over again. My favourite recipe from The River Café Cookbook is Asparagi con Uova. It has five ingredients: blanched asparagus, egg yolks placed at their tips, then warm butter is poured over the top, and it's finished with Parmesan, salt and pepper. It's the perfect example of how they let beautifully sourced ingredients speak for themselves.

Jane Middleton

Editor and writer

The quantities are ridiculous, the instructions sparse but nonetheless this book is brimming with charisma, and it contains some of the finest dishes of the last 50 years. Halve the quantities for the desserts and they'll work just fine (even the infamous Chocolate Nemesis) – without being so heartstoppingly expensive.

Alexis Gauthier

Chef and owner of Gauthier Soho

The River cafe is probably my favourite restaurant in London. The complete opposite of what’s trendy right now, the simple a la carte menus focusses in a beautifully un-teachy way on giving the customer what they want to eat. The book is exactly same, and my family adores the chocolate nemesis cake, too.

Skye Gyngell

Chef and Author

I love Rose and Ruth's cooking. They changed the face of cooking in London and so much produce is available here now because of their work. It still feels timelessly modern and relevant. Visually, for me it is one of the strongest cookery books of all time.

Oliver Rowe


With this book Rose and Ruth compiled their first few years experience of opening one of the UK’s most significant restaurants. They ushered in a new era of simple but accomplished cooking that was to influence a generation of cooks.

Shane Osborn


To be honest I didn't think that much of [this and its sequel] when they were released but over time I've grown to really enjoy cooking the recipes on a regular basis . Sign of a great book in my opinion.

Rachel Roddy

Food writer and blogger

Used and used and loved. Often the first book I turn too when I am feeling dull in the kitchen and want inspiration. Joyful food. Also my favourite book in terms of photography and style.

Julie Friend

Chef, food writer and Masterchef winner

I went to the River cafe on a first date, many years ago and whilst I couldn't tell you much about the date, I could tell you everything about the food. Simple, delicious, genius.

Dan Toombs

Food writer

I have a large selection of Italian cookbooks. This one I couldn’t be without. I think I’ve now memorised all the recipes but still like having it in my collection.

Valeria Necchio

Cookbook author

A substantial tome celebrating the simple yet flavour-bursting, Italian-inspired recipes that made The River Café famous worldwide.

Gill Meller


I bought this book for my wife 1 day before she gave birth to our first daughter. Bad move, good book though.

Charlotte Bland

Food photographer

A wonderful book about a wonderful restaurant. The recipes, photography, layout and prose are all spot on.

Fiona Beckett

Food and wine writer

Despite 'that' cake still a marvellous, amazingly influential book

Lotte Duncan

Food presenter, writer and eater

Everything is delicious is in!

Neale Whitaker

Editor in Chief for Vogue Living Australia and judge on The Block

Allegra McEvedy

Chef, writer and broadcaster

Lindsey Bareham

Author and writer

Annica Wainwright

Food industry consultant

Eric Treuille

Cookbook seller

Bryan Hanley

Food scientist

Fiona Cairns


Lance Forman

Owner of the Forman businesses

Sophie McNally

(Formerly) Operations Manager at Keith McNally restaurants in NYC

Martine Carter

Director, Sauce Management

Julie Gibbs

Publishing Director – Illustrated Books, Penguin Random House Australia

Ghillie Basan

Writer, broadcaster, and food anthropologist

Russell Norman

Restaurateur, writer, broadcaster

Jennifer Yong

Founder, Jenius Social

Caz Hildebrand

Creative Partner at Here Design

Steven Lamb

Teacher and writer

Melissa Clark

Food Columnist, The New York Times

Martin Boetz

Cooks Co-op

Prue Leith

Founder of Leiths Group, food writer and author

Daniel Acevedo

Head Chef at Mildreds

Julee Rosso

Cook and food writer

Claire Ptak

Chef-owner, Violet Cakes

Harry Lester

Cook and restaurateur

Kate Doran

Blogger, The Little Loaf

David Rowley

Designer and art director