1 Michelin Star Chefs: Ruth Rogers, chef patron, River Cafe

The  Staff Canteen

Ruth Rogers is chef patron of the one Michelin-starred River Cafe.

Ruth Rogers was born in upstate New York and moved to London in 1967 to study design at the London College of Printing. She met her future husband, architect Lord Richard Rogers a few years later.

River Cafe

the river cafe: Image by Richard Bryant

Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, London W6 9HA

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 12:30pm to 5pm, 7pm to 11pm

Sunday 12:00pm to 5pm

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7386 4200

Website: www.rivercafe.co.uk

Email: [email protected]

Head chefs: Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Travelli

Restaurant manager: Charles Bullan

Head sommelier: Christophe Decoux.

Twitter: @RiverCafeLondon

Instagram: @rivercafelondon

Facebook: therivercafelondon


After traveling to France and Italy, where Ruth learned about seasonality, she was inspired to open a canteen with a close friend Rose Gray which they called The River Café. Initially, they served food to the staff of Lord Rogers’ architectural company.

They had high hopes for the restaurant from the start but both being self-taught female cooks, they were a minority at the time. Ruth told The Guardian in 2010: "Women who used to want to cook went into catering or they gave dinner parties for rich businessmen. The chefs and the managers in the River Café are 50% women. I'm really proud of that."

Ruth Rogers MBE
Ruth Rogers MBE

The River Café

The restaurant, situated in Hammersmith, became renowned for its simple yet powerful Italian cooking. Gray and Rogers went on to write The River Café Cook Book and present the 1998 Channel 4 programme “The Italian Kitchen”. Their books have since sold over a million copies.

The River Café was awarded its first Michelin star in 1998 and still holds a star to this day. The pair were both awarded an MBE in 2010 ‘for services to hospitality’. Ruth’s business partner Rose Gray, unfortunately, passed away in 2010, after a battle with cancer. Ruth decided to continue to run The River Café in her memory.

The main dining room is light and there is a riverside terrace for those who wish to dine outside. There is also a private dining room that seats up to eighteen people. The hugely successful restaurant has seen many top London chefs train there, including Theo Randall, Ed Baines and even celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Food Style

The River Café menu changes daily, but dishes are focused around Italian cuisine. Where Rose lived in Italy for years, Ruth’s love for Italian cuisine comes from her husband’s family. Richard Rogers’ mother came from Trieste, one of the richest regions of Italy.

Ruth’s signature dishes at The River Café include a wild mushroom risotto and rich Italian desserts like the chocolate ‘Nemesis’ cake. The menu always highlights the very best of seasonal produce.


All 7pm bookings are until 9pm. Due to a planning restriction guests must leave by 11pm on Monday to Thursday and by 11.20pm on Friday to Saturday. Reservation times for lunch Monday to Saturday are from 12.30pm and Sunday from 12.00pm; Dinner Monday to Saturday from 7pm.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd September 2017

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Ruth Rogers, chef patron, River Cafe