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Ruth Rogers

Kirsty Young interviews chef and restaurateur Ruth Rogers.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the chef and restaurateur, Ruth Rogers.

Born in America, she has become one of the UK's most celebrated cooks. Despite not being a trained chef, she set up The River Café with her business partner, the late Rose Gray, in 1987. The focus was on high quality, seasonal produce cooked the Italian way. Many of today's top chefs including Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Theo Randall, Sam Clark and Allegra McEvedy began their careers in their kitchen. The café was awarded a Michelin star in 1997.

The youngest of three children, Ruth Rogers' parents were both immigrants and very political. In the late sixties, she left America and moved to London where she joined other Americans protesting against the Vietnam War. In 1969 she met the architect, Richard, now Lord, Rogers and they married in 1973. The couple moved to Paris when Richard Rogers and his partners won the contract to design the Pompidou Centre. There she learned the importance of seasonality: subsequent visits to Italy shifted her passion to Italian cooking.

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

36 minutes

Last on

Fri 7 Aug 2015 09:00

Music Played

  • Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

    Dancing In The Street

    • Dancing In The Street…: The Greatest Hits.
    • Motown.
  • Stubby Kaye & John Silver

    Guys and Dolls

    • Guys and Dolls original broadcast.
    • MCA.

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      Goldberg Variations - Aria

      Performer: Daniel Barenboim.
      • Goldberg Variations.
      • Erato.
  • Ella Fitzgerald

    Love is here to Stay

    • Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin songbook.
    • Verve.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Vedrai Carino (from Don Giovanni)

    Performer: Anne Sofie von Otter. Performer: The English Concert Orchestra. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock.
    • Opera Arias.
    • Archiv.
  • Cisco Houston

    Ship in the Sky

    • Cisco Houston Sings the Songs of Woody Guthrie.
    • Vanguard.
  • Garrison Keillor & The Powdermilk Biscuit Band

    I Will

    • A Prairie Home Companion 20th Anniversary Collection, Vol. 1.
    • Highbridge Company.
  • Pete Seeger

    This land is Your Land

    • God Bless America.
    • BMG.

    The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers


    A bottle of extra virgin olive oil pressed at either Felsina or Fontodi vineyards


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Ruth Rogers
Producer Cathy Drysdale


  • Sun 2 Aug 2015 11:15
  • Fri 7 Aug 2015 09:00

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