The River Café Cookbook

by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

from the publisher

The River Café Cookbook is one of the most influential cookbooks ever published and is the winner of both the Glenfiddich Food Book of the Year and BCA Illustrated Book of the Year awards. Acclaimed for their innovative re-interpretation of Italian farmhouse cooking - Cucina Rustica - at the River Café restaurant, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers have produced an outstanding selection of Italian recipes with an emphasis on uncomplicated food which is vibrant with flavour. Beautifully illustrated, The River Café Cookbook is a wonderful guide to this approachable and exciting form of Italian cooking and a celebration of a great restaurant.

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Original Publisher
Ebury Press
Date of publication

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.

Annabel Abbs

Novelist, cook and food blogger

When I bought River Café Blue, I cooked my way through it dish by dish. Suddenly Italian food was greater than pizza and spag bol. But it was the bruschetta that astonished me: glamorous toasties really, but they fired my imagination and for a year we lived off bruschetta.

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.

Tola Akerele

Hotelier, designer and cookbook author

One of my first cookbook purchases. Easy recipes that are super delicious.

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!

Bryan Hanley

Food scientist

Melissa Clark

Food Columnist, The New York Times

Fiona Cairns


Allegra McEvedy

Chef, writer and broadcaster

Lindsey Bareham

Author and writer

Martin Boetz

Cooks Co-op

Prue Leith

Founder of Leiths Group, food writer and author

Martine Carter

Director, Sauce Management

Roberta Muir

Author, cooking teacher & gourmet tour guide

Harry Lester

Cook and restaurateur

Kate Doran

Blogger, The Little Loaf

Claire Ptak

Chef-owner, Violet Cakes

Ghillie Basan

Writer, broadcaster, and food anthropologist

Steven Lamb

Teacher and writer

Julie Gibbs

Publishing Director – Illustrated Books, Penguin Random House Australia

Julee Rosso

Cook and food writer

Eric Treuille

Cookbook seller

Jennifer Yong

Founder, Jenius Social

Neale Whitaker

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

Sophie McNally

(Formerly) Operations Manager at Keith McNally restaurants in NYC

Annica Wainwright

Food industry consultant

Daniel Acevedo

Head Chef at Mildreds

Lance Forman

Owner of the Forman businesses

David Rowley

Designer and art director

Caz Hildebrand

Creative Partner at Here Design

Russell Norman

Restaurateur, writer, broadcaster