Rose Gray, co-founder of London's iconic River Cafe restaurant, has died at the age of 71 after a long battle with cancer.
A self-taught cook, Rose launched the River Café in partnership with Ruth Rogers, wife of architect Richard Rogers, in 1987.
Originally intended as an informal place where staff at the river-side complex could grab a simple bite to eat, the project soon gathered both a reputation for excellent Tuscan cuisine and an admiring clientele.
Within five years, the restaurant had expanded and in 1998, it gained a Michelin star.
With the publication of the first of numerous cookbooks in 1995 and a television programme in 1998, the River Café credo of using the very best seasonal ingredients and cooking them simply spread beyond the boundaries of London.
The list of chefs trained in the River Café’s kitchens includes famous alumni Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Theo Randall.
Paying tribute to her, Fearnley-Whittingstall said it was ‘impossible to quantify the impact on British cooking of the dozens of young cooks who shared the stove with her over the last 20 years and went on to pass just a little of her passion and understanding to others.’
‘I feel ridiculously lucky to be one of them.’
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Written by Natasha Hughes