21st February 2020

Simon Rogan Q&A

Cartmel is where it all started for Simon Rogan with L’Enclume. We caught up with Simon himself to learn a little more about him, his restaurants and his plans for 2020.

 

Why Cumbria and why Cartmel?

I was desperate to open my own restaurant and was attracted to the restaurant through a friend of a friend so to speak. Obviously, I fell in love with the building and its surroundings for its beauty and potential. I was confident that I could establish a destination restaurant. Opening in Cartmel allowed us to build our business from the ground up, so we didn’t have to answer to investors, and we are very proud of that.

Where would you go for a walk to get off the beaten track in Cumbria?

I love walking all over the place but I particularly like the trails around Bassenthwaite and Coniston. My favourite has to be the walk along Wastwater for the spectacular scenery looking up at Scafell Pike, finishing up at the Wasdale Inn for a lovely rewarding pint.

 

How would you advise somebody to begin foraging?

Do your research, I have lots and lots of great books on the subject, the internet is also a great place to study. There are lots of practical courses out there now to help you gain great knowledge fairly quickly.

What would be your ‘last supper’?

It would have to have scallops in some way, I don’t mind how they are cooked as I love them in many different ways. For main, I am a sucker for a nice, big, fat, aged rib eye steak with all the trimmings and a peppercorn sauce, all washed down by a lovely little claret. I’d have to finish with a tangy, fragrant lemon tart.

What’s your favourite Cumbrian food?

Being not too far from the bay, it would have to be shrimps, either potted or dressed in a nice sauce with some of our lovely baby gem lettuces from Our Farm*. I have a bit of a soft spot for Cumberland sausages too though.

*Our Farm is set in the Cartmel Valley, where Simon Rogan and his team of chefs select what is grown, when it is harvested and how it is prepared. The aim is to grow near perfect produce in a natural and sustainable way.

What and where was the best meal you’ve ever eaten?

It’s impossible to say the best, as I’ve had so many amazing meals over the years. It’s too hard to choose but the best food experience I’ve ever had was at the La Ferme de mon Père in Megève which was the restaurant of the great French chef Marc Veyrat. The food, the setting, service and ambiance was unbelievable and I was inspired by his innovative use of Alpine wild herbs, roots and flowers in his cookery.

What are your plans for 2020?

To enjoy myself. I want to concentrate on all of our current restaurants and to make them the best they can possibly be, so probably no stressful openings for 2020. We have bigger, bolder plans for Our Farm this year, which is exciting and I am really looking forward to Henrock’s^ first full year of business, it’s going to develop into something pretty awesome.

^Henrock is Rogan’s latest culinary venture in Linthwaite which opened in summer 2019, so no Michelin Stars… yet.

How do you relax?

No time for relaxing! It’s full on at the moment and I am surrounded by an amazing group of ambitious, highly gifted individuals who drive me to push forward every single day.

 

L-R Rogan & Co dessert, L’Enclume plate, Rogan & Co plate

 

L’Enclume and Rogan & Co have three Michelin stars between them. So, if you’re looking to treat a loved one with one of the most memorable dining experiences in the UK or an introduction to Michelin dining, you definitely need to book yourself a visit to the foodie village of Cartmel.

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