Ruth Rogers

October 12, 2009


Today, my mum and I went on our annual outing to Cheltenham Literary Festival. She had alerted me to a brilliant offer on a talk by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray followed by a 3 course River Cafe themed menu at a local restaurant, but sadly it was fully booked before we got our tickets. I’ve never been to the River Cafe but I do have their first book, the blue one, and although I don’t cook from it much the recipes always seem so simple and pure and appealing that when I open it I want to rush out to the nearest Italian deli and invite my friends round. So, we booked for the talk, still hoping there might be a cancellation, but we weren’t so lucky. And then we arrived to a notice that Rose Gray would not be attending due to ill health. My spirits sunk a little at this point, but, as it turned out, Ruth Rogers did a good job of making up for her absent partner by seeming genuinely interested and engaged; her enthusiasm even in the face of questions she must have been made to consider many times before was quite compelling and her answers were thoroughly informative. She also managed to seem enviably both poised and relaxed, really the kind of person you wanted to imagine hanging out in the kitchen with. And I dug her outfit – red checked dress, thick grey tights, jewel-blue shoes.

Afterwards we had lunch at a completely bizarre ‘pacific-rim fusion’ restaurant owned by Norwegians. Pacific-rim fusion translated into Norwegian is apparently ‘mexican’. I had a burrito which tasted like Pringles Tex-Mex BBQ flavour: I’m not sure Ruth would have approved. Undeterred, a redeeming scone and cup of earl grey in a nearby cafe and we were ready for some poetry.  And, I now have in my possession a signed copy of the new River Cafe recipe book, River Cafe Classic Italian – I just need to email that dinner invite…


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