A taste of olive oil: A Gastronomic & Cinematic Adventure with Jason Osborn, The River Café & Ossie Gray

WORLD PREMIERE of A Taste of Olive Oil, a film by Jason Osborn & Rose Gray


Rose Gray (1931-2010) was one of Britain’s most influential chefs and founded London’s River Café with Ruth Rogers in 1987. Her love affair with olive oil began in the 1970s when she visited oil mills in Tuscany.

Once she had tasted the new season’s olive oil directly from the mill, Rose was convinced that using seasonal ingredients was essential to the cooking she wanted to learn and impart.

Rose established special relationships with single estate olive oil producers in the hills surrounding Florence. This enabled her to blend her own olive oil from some of the best olives in the world. The River Cafe was the first restaurant to insist on the new season’s quality oil as a necessity, and this became a hallmark of River Café gastronomy.

Rose Gray died last year and this film is in part a tribute to her and her indefatigable search for excellence. In a 23-year partnership with Ruth Rogers, she revolutionised Italian cooking in this country and trained a whole generation of current superstar chefs including Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. All pay tribute to her enormous and enduring influence.

Regular Ebenezers will remember Jason Osborn for the wonderful film he brought to us last year, Songs of Georgia.

Jason is a film-maker, a musician and composer whose work for film, TV (including over 200 documentaries) and theatre is heard world-wide. Through his work, he met Rose Gray many years ago and in November 2008 went with [Rose and her son Ossie Gray (general manager of the River Café for 23 years) to film Rose’s annual visit (Guardian) to the olive harvest in Tuscany. It was her last trip before her death in February 2010.

In November 2010 Jason returned to the olive harvest with Ossie to finish the film.

Jason will introduce the film, and both he and Ossie Gray will answer questions after the screening.

In this thrilling first for the Ebenezer, The River Cafe has provided 2010's River Cafe olive oil, with specially prepared Bruschetta for a special tasting and the pleasure of all who attend.

We will also be serving a River Cafe Ribollita and there may be other River Cafe surprises.

Booking is absolutely essential for this event for obvious reasons. And please book early to be sure of avoiding heartbreak & hunger.

2011Martin Keeley