My life in food: Ruth Rogers, chef-owner of the River Café

 

Rogers is chef-owner of the River Café in London. She co-founded the restaurant with the late Rose Gray, with whom she also wrote books (the million-selling River Café cookbooks) and shared a Michelin star. Although her protégés included Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver, Rogers is not a trained chef herself. Last year Rogers was a finalist for Veuve Clicquot's Business Woman Award last year and now sits on the awards panel, which recognises successful female entrepreneurs worldwide.

What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?

At home, my most used thing is a cast-iron grill pan. It is double-sized and ridged and it's the best way to grill meat or fish at home. Least used? My toaster. I don't like toast.

If you only had £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

I would go to Maison du Chocolat and get £10 worth of chocolate. I don't like truffles, so I would get the bars. I love chocolate but I don't eat a lot of it, so what I do eat I want to be the best.

What do you eat for comfort?

Ice cream. It has to be caramel and made by me – I only like it from the River Cafe. But if I wanted something warm and comforting I would cook myself a risotto.

If you could only eat bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Potatoes. I like them with olive oil, buttered, or spiced or just cooked in the oven with different vegetables. Or turned into potato gnocchi. Plus there are so many different types of them. It was really exciting when I went to Peru and was told they had 89 different kinds of potato. If I didn't have to eat another piece of bread in my life I would be fine.

What's your desert island recipe?

Tomato pasta. Of all the pastas it is the greatest. If you ask an Italian what they want they will say pasta pomodoro. You can tell a chef's skill by how they make it – what tomatoes they use, how long they cook them for, the amount of olive oil they put in. I never tire of tomato pasta.

What's your favourite restaurant?

That's really hard. I am going to choose one not run by any of my friends in Britain. So I choose Restaurant Gianni Franzi, it is in a very small town called Vernazza, which is between Genoa and Pisa. It is all that I love. Everything is bought from the villages surrounding. It is all so fresh and relaxed, but lively, and you have your table for as long as you like. It is my favourite place in the world.

What's your favourite cookbook?

I would probably say Marcella Hazan's The Classic Italian Cookbook. But also, as an American who started cooking French food, I grew up on Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. It's not what I cook now, but it taught me to cook with rigour and discipline.

Who taught you to cook?

Dada Rogers, my mother-in-law. She was an Italian woman who came here during the war from Florence, and she had a great tradition of eating very well. When she died her last words were: "put cream on your face and not so many herbs on your fish". It is good advice.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?