2 Michelin Star Chefs: Simon Rogan, L'Enclume

The  Staff Canteen

Simon Rogan is the chef owner of two Michelin-starred L'Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria and the co-founder of the Umbel Restaurant group.

One of the most esteemed figures in British fine dining, Simon Rogan has received numerous awards and accolades over the course of his career.

L’Enclume

Cavendish St, Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands LA11 6PZ

Website: https://www.lenclume.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7938 5049

Email: [email protected]

Opening hours: Lunch Tuesday to Sunday 12pm to 1:30pm; Dinner Tuesday to Sunday 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Executive chef: Tom Barnes

Head chef: Paul Burgalieres

Restaurant manager: Sam Ward

Food style: British food connected to its surroundings. Locally grown and foraged, fresh ingredients, only ever British.

Twitter: @simon_rogan

Instagram: @rogan_simon

Facebook: LEnclume

Biography

The son of a wholesale fruit and vegetable merchant, Simon was born in Southampton in 1967. 

He originally worked in a kitchens as a way of earning pocket money while he tried to become a professional football player. Realising his chances of success as a footballer were limited, he decided to study catering at Southampton Technical College.

When he was 17, he began an apprenticeship at Rhinefield House Hotel in Hampshire under Paul Norman, who taught him classical techniques and gave him a thorough understanding of how a professional kitchen operates.

It was here that the chef's love for the industry was born, as well as the passion for foraging for which he is widely known.

He spent eight years working with Jean-Christophe Novelli: he joined him as a pastry chef in 1988 and credits him for showing him what opportunities are available to chefs should they commit to a career in cooking, from travel to professional development.

His time with Jean-Christophe was intersparsed with months of working for Keith Floyd at The Maltster’s Arms in Devon, at the Gordleton Mill in the New Forest and at Nansidwell House Hotel in Falmouth.

Subsequently he took on his first head chef role at Adlington Place in Croydon before going to work at Lucas Carton in Paris under Alain Senderens.

Simon also staged with the likes of Marco Pierre White and John Burton-Race before opening l'Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, in 2002.

In 2012, he took part in the BBC's Great British Menu series and his dessert made it onto the banquet table. He has returned as a veteran judge on the show on multiple occasions since. 

L’Enclume

Co-founded and co-owned by Simon Rogan's partner Penny Tapsell, the group flagship earned its first Michelin star in 2008. A second followed in 2012, which it has retained ever since.

With L'Enclume, Simon's aim was to create a restaurant that was not only connected to the local area at the heart of the Lake District, but an environmentally-sound, self-sustaining one. 

As a chef, Simon only ever uses British produce. To this end, the team at L'Enclume invested the hard work, research, planning and careful management and developed a farm just outside of the village.

Known as 'Our Farm,' it has provided them with most everything on the menu at L'Enclume since 2009, as well as to all of the chef's subsequent restaurants in the area.

What the guides say...

Michelin

two stars.jpg.640x480 q80 .jpg.640x480 q80 .jpg.640x480 q80

AA Restaurant Guide

five rosettes

Good Food Guide

2nd Best Restaurant in the UK and a 10/10 score, meaning "Perfect dishes showing faultless technique at every service. An extremely rare accolade"

Harden's

With 15 acres of land, numerous polytunnels and a large barn, the team grows vegetables there and rears chickens, pigs and even some cattle. The farm workers also forage the countryside looking for ingredients.

Because the ingredients are about as local and as fresh as they get, the menus at L'Enclume are often changed based on what is available. The chef's development kitchen, Aulis, allows him and his chefs to create dishes and practice all manner of techniques. 

Simon’s self-sustaining and biodynamic approach has been hailed by critics and environment lovers, and, though he experienced many difficulties at the beginning, Simon and his team persevered and have come to a better understanding of nature and how best to leverage it.

In 2013, L'Enclume appeared in the BBC's comedy series starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, The Trip, which saw the actors enjoy a meal at six restaurants across the Lake District, Lancashire and Yorkshire Dales. As well as L'Enclume, they visited The Angel at Hetton, The Yorke Arms, Hipping Hall, Holbeck Ghyll and the Inn at Whitewell.

Other restaurants and ventures

Following his success at L’Enclume, Simon went on to open award-winning restaurants around the world, first in Cartmel, then in London, and finally in Hong Kong. 

The chef's expansive portfolio of restaurants was incorporated into a private limited company, the Umbel Restaurant Group, in 2015.

In 2008, he launched L'Enclume's informal sister, Rogan & Co., which also gets most of its produce from the Cartmel farm. 

In September 2012, he took ownership of The Pig & Whistle pub in Cartmel. He then opened Roganic, a pop-up restaurant that ran until the lease on the Marylebone property ended in October 2013. It reopened as a permanent site in 2017, earning a Michelin star in the following year's guide, but was forced to close again due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on London footfall in 2020.

In 2013, Simon took over The French at The Midland Hotel in Manchester,  followed by Fera at Claridge's in London in 2014 and Mr Cooper’s House and Garden at The Midland in 2015. In April 2017, he departed Fera at Claridge's, which is now home to Daniel Humm's Michelin-starred London outpost, Michelin-starred Davies & Brook.

That same year, Simon parted ways with The French, leaving it in the capable hands of then head chef Adam Reid, and launched Aulis in London. Also in 2017, Simon opened his first foreign outpost, Roganic Hong Kong, which earned a Michelin star in the 2020 guide.

Many young talented chefs have been through the doors of the Rogan & Co. empire, from Paul Burgalieres and Oli Marlow to Tom Barnes, all of whom credit the chef for being a great role model and mentor.

His dedication and passion have made him one of the most influential chefs of his generation, undoubtedly  changing the course of Britain's culinary landscape. 

In 2021, the chef partnered with Kendal College to create The Simon Rogan Academy, a hospitality training course for budding chefs.

Students enrolled on the course will work across his kitchens and 'Our Farm' four days a week and spend a day in college to obtain an accredited level 2 City & Guilds qualification and the opportunity to stage at Roganic Hong Kong.

Videos of Simon Rogan: 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th August 2021

2 Michelin Star Chefs: Simon Rogan, L'Enclume