I asked Deborah (Reid) a former employee here at The Cookbook Store to give us her thoughts on her time at the fabled River Cafe. Deborah is currently an instructor at George Brown Chef School
I was a stagiaire in the kitchen at the River Cafe for 5 weeks in May and June of 2000. At that time I was sous chef in a restaurant in southwestern Ontario and my travel and study was sponsored by the restaurant I worked for in Canada. I was beside myself to be there - had harboured the dream since the first time I laid my hands on the Blue Book. Worked and learned from such great, enthusiastic and inspiring people - Theo, Arthur, Gary, April, Peter... Spent a brief morning service with Ruth and Rose preparing Vignole - they were on the cusp of releasing the Green Book and were very busy. They were kind and generous and I was over the moon. The quality of the ingredients was breathtaking and they were masterful at culling those qualities. The cooking had clear flavours and was gutsy and vibrant in a way that was just so sensual. I consider myself richer for that experience. Although brief, it helped to shape my cooking and career. May her family and friends find comfort in knowing what she meant to so many people and may she rest in peace.