Polymath Ruth Rogers was born in Monticello, New York, and was educated at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School and at Bennington College in Vermont before moving to England and studying at the London College of Printing, where she earned a degree in graphic design. She joined the art department of Penguin Books in 1970, but after marrying architect Richard Rogers in 1973, she moved with him to Paris and worked on graphic design and exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou until their return to London in 1979. After a period of work at Richard Rogers Partnership, in 1987 she opened a restaurant in London, the River Café, with a partner, Rose Gray, focusing on authentically prepared regional, seasonal Italian food. In 1998 the restaurant earned its first Michelin star, which it has retained ever since. In 1995, Rogers and Gray published their first cookbook, The River Café Cookbook. A further ten cookbooks followed, all best sellers, including the most recent title, The River Café Classic Italian Cookbook (2009). The duo also presented a twelve-part television series, “The Italian Kitchen,” as well as an episode of “Heston’s Italian Revolutionaries,” in 2013.
Ruth Rogers was named as a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year’s Honours List in 2010. She has served on the board of the Royal Theatre, is a trustee of the domestic violence victims’ support organization Refuge and the Index on Censorship, and is a patron of Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, the Dyslexia Institute, and Democrats Abroad. Richard Rogers and Ruth Rogers are the 2016–17 Senior Loeb Scholars at Harvard GSD.
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