The River Cafe celebrates a whopping 30 years.

As the world famous Michelin-starred River Cafe celebrates 30 years in business, here are 30 things you ought to know about the Italian restaurant and its celebratory new cookbook, River Cafe 30...

1. River Cafe 30's pages are edged luminous pink, to match the restaurant's iconic pizza oven. "We wanted to make a book that reflected not just the food we cook, but also the restaurant we have, the bright colours, the clear graphics," says co-founder and chef Ruth Rogers, 69.

2. Writing the book was a joint effort - by Ruth, River Cafe head chefs Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli, and the late Rose Gray, River Cafe's co-founder, is also credited.

3. Ruth calls the book "a tribute to my partner for all those years", Rose, who died from cancer in 2010.

4. The pair met in 1969, and started The River Cafe in 1987.

5. In the book Ruth writes: "Rose is The River Cafe, in everything we do. She is in the way we season the lamb before we put it on the grill. She's there in the way we roll out our pasta dough and slow-cook our vegetables."

6. Talking of lamb and pasta, they were on the menu from day one. "I remember the first day," Ruth recalls, "one of us made sandwiches and one of us made either a pasta or grilled lamb - we had a very short menu."

7. The day the duo first saw the site that would become The River Cafe, they met at Drummonds on the Kings Road, which today is a Maccy D's. Ruth writes: "You could say that The River Cafe was actually conceived in a McDonalds."

8. They started with nine tables, and now manage more than 250 covers every lunchtime.

9. Legend has it they began as a staff canteen. "We didn't," Ruth notes, adamant. "We started as a restaurant, but we were allowed by the restrictions to only open at lunchtime, and only for people who worked in the neighbouring offices."

10. Those restrictions were enforced by Hammersmith planners, but Ruth says they "were really brilliant for us, because we grew with the restaurant".

11. However, at one point there was a (failed) petition, with 100 signatures, sent to the council to have them closed down.

12. River Cafe 30 owes a lot to Ruth and Rose's debut cookbook. "We revisited the Blue book, the iconic one we wrote in 1994. We thought, 25 years later, 'How have these recipes changed?' Or, 'Could we adapt them?'"

13. "Some of them are just perfect the way they were," says Ruth, like the pressed chocolate cake and ricotta al forno.

14. Others take into account new cooking techniques and changing tastes. "There's a new recipe for a hard pasta called mezze paccheri with langoustine and with pecorino - that's so unusual to have a fish pasta with cheese," buzzes Ruth.

15. And some are ridiculously simple - like the blood orange sorbet with only three ingredients.

16. Turn straight to page 311 for 'the crowning recipe': "The chocolate nemesis," says Ruth. "It's such a strong flavour, the intensity of the chocolate; it's creamy without cream; you put it in your mouth and it just melts."

17. "All the recipe photos were taken outside in the sun, so we would cook the food then put it on the table," says Ruth.

18. In fact, art and style are crucial, both to the book and the restaurant. "It's not an art book," explains Ruth, "but it's a book, when you're cooking, you can look at and see beautiful art."

19. Flick through and you'll find menus illustrated by famous names. "We approached artists who really have a close relationship with the restaurant, and gave them the menus to do whatever they wanted with."

20. Discover doodles by Cy Twombly, Damien Hirst and Ellsworth Kelly.

21. Ruth believes there is an inherent connection between food and art: "Usually good artists love good food, and a lot of the artists I know are really good cooks."

22. Aside from the book, the restaurant celebrated turning 30 with a huge party, featuring 1,000 guests and a Ferris wheel.

23. When it comes to how food culture has changed in the last 30 years, Ruth says: "People travel more and more; they are more curious, and want to eat the things they very often ate in a foreign country. People are more interested, more ambitious, more excited about food."

24. She doesn't do clean eating: "'Clean eating' is not a term I use, but I do worry about a healthy approach to food."

25. In terms of food anxiety, she says: "I worry about sustainability, I worry that food is of a good quality."

26. And teamwork is key. "Development comes day by day, you try and learn from the people you work with," says Ruth. "I think chefs, when they leave the River Cafe, leave not just knowing how to cook."

27. Chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Theo Randall and April Bloomfield are all River Cafe alumni.

28. The restaurant has one of the best views of the Thames.

29. The herb garden is just asking to be nibbled on.

30. Most important of all to Ruth is that "we've created a restaurant with the values that make people feel like they are coming home".

  • River Cafe 30 by Ruth Rogers, Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli is published by Ebury Press, priced £28. Available now.