Rose Gray – a legacy that will last

01 March 2010 by
Rose Gray – a legacy that will last

With the death of Rose Gray the British restaurant scene has lost of one of its most pioneering, influential and respected figures. Alongside partner Ruth Rogers, Gray founded the River Café in London in 1987 on guiding principles of authenticity, seasonality, freshness and simplicity.

These principles translated into a style of cuisine that provided diners in the capital with an antidote to the self-indulgences of nouvelle cuisine and the bolognese-and-tiramisu predictability of Italian restaurants.

Plaudits inevitably followed. In 1998 the restaurant won a Michelin star, which it has never lost. And Gray and Rogers were awarded MBEs in this year's New Year's honours list, for services to the British hospitality industry.

The River Café's culinary values can be felt across the industry and beyond it. The restaurant inspired chefs such as Theo Randall, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver to flourish and succeed.

Meanwhile, the many beautiful and successful cookbooks it spawned have revolutionised the way domestic cooks approach the kitchen, and provide a lasting legacy for Gray's craft.

As is now often the case, the news of Gray's death was first revealed on social networking site Twitter on Sunday night, with a tweet from Guardian food critic Jay Rayner marking the death of "a woman who with Ruthie Rogers had a huge impact on British restaurants". Within moments, chefs and food lovers across the world were paying tribute to Gray's work and her life.

By providing the means to share news, opinions and images with the rest of the world, the internet has revolutionised communication in the same way that the River Café revolutionised food.

In this issue we have introduced fresh elements to Caterer that open a window on the ongoing global conversation that is the internet. Each week, we'll be reflecting the online hot topics of the day, presenting arresting images from the web and capturing the essence of a week on Twitter.

If you'd like to be involved in the communication revolution yourself, go to and join the conversation.

Mark Lewis, Editor, Caterer and Hotelkeeper

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