3 Simple Pasta Recipes To Try From The River Cafe’s First “Look Book”

What makes that look book one such triumph, however, is its format. After trying to create step-by-step lessons on how to master the basics of cooking (“boil a tomato, carefully peel it, remove the seeds”), Rogers and his team decided there had to be another way to go beyond having “a recipe on the left, a photograph on the right. “It was so patronizing to me – and it was never part of the DNA of the River Cafe,” adds she.

Ultimately, the team’s inspiration came from Rogers’ late partner, famed architect Richard. “My husband recently passed away after having a bad fall three years ago. [which left him with brain damage]“, she remembers with her singing transatlantic accent. “During those three years he read a lot, and someone – my daughter-in-law, in fact – sent us these books developed by a neurologist, artist and photographer in Holland for people with autism. and dementia. Each combines different images – with the aim of getting comparisons between the two – and I just wondered if there was a way to do this for food?”

A metal toothbrush next to lemon ice cream.

Matthew Donaldson

It turns out yes. Having previously worked with photographer Matthew Donaldson on the previous version of the cookbook (as well as a myriad of other River Cafe projects), Rogers joined executive chefs Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli in browsing Donaldson’s archives at looking for photos that could accompany pictures of the River Cafe. dishes. Among the evocative juxtapositions, the band ultimately chose to include in the book’s 100-page “Look”: brown lentils next to autumn leaves strewn across a sidewalk; a meringue that echoes the texture of a classic sculpture; and spaghetti go vongole garnished with chilli next to wilted red tulips.

Each photo is exquisite enough to hang on the wall (hopefully the River Cafe shop will launch prints in the near future) and make you want to step into the kitchen, no matter your experience level. The 50 corresponding recipes in the “Cook” section, meanwhile, weave transferable lessons into foolproof instructions. A zucchini salad opens with tips for dropping vegetables in cold water for 30 minutes to firm them up before peeling them, while a dish of wrapped monkfish is used to teach readers how to handle the paper sulfurized. (Packets should be seared “in a hot skillet so they don’t stick” before going in the oven.) “I always say a recipe is half science and half poetry,” Rogers explains, “and these are truly for Everyone.”