There is something very seductive about food inspired by the seasons, and Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers have made a phenomenal success of their inspirations at the River Café restaurant in London. A hugely dedicated following has purchased The River Café Cookbook
and River Café Cookbook Two
, and this looks set to be repeated with the latest offering, River Café Italian Kitchen
, which accompanied a TV series.
Italian food is "the food we love most" according to Gray and Rogers, and they share this love through a selection of mouthwatering recipes from a simple spring dish such as spaghetti with lemon, through to summer specials like crab bruschetta, rich autumn feasts of roast pheasant with quince and sage, and the winter pièce de resistance of almond, orange, lemon and whisky cake. Accompanying the recipes are evocative black- and-white photographs "of the people who make the parmesan, find the truffles, produce the wine, and press the olives", which is an attractive, understated touch.
Dip into River Café Italian Kitchen and you're transported to a smoky autumn wood in Piedmont, with the prospect of some freshly unearthed white truffles mixed with taglietelle for your supper; or grilled monkfish with salsa verde; or roast guinea fowl stuffed with pomegranate and thyme--luxurious dishes, but very straightforward to make. With its clear, uncomplicated recipes and low price, this is a book to return to again and again. --Catherine Taylor
"A quiet and dignified display of the expertise they've gleaned from their years at the River Cafe . promoting good food, beautifully cooked" (London Standard