WIN: A signed copy of Rogan: The Cookbook by Simon Rogan

The  Staff Canteen

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED.

The much-anticipated debut book from Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan has landed. 

It's been quite a hectic few weeks for acclaimed chef Simon Rogan, not only was he named as the new Bocuse d’Or UK President, two of his restaurants, the two-Michelin starred L'Enclume and Roganic have been included in the Good Food Guide 2018 and then there is the not-so-small matter of the publication of his first cookbook.

Rogan: The Cookbook by Simon Rogan launched last week and The Staff Canteen spoke to the Michelin-starred chef about why the time was right to write his first book and why it was important to him that it wasn't a 'trophy' book destined for the coffee table.

WIN: A signed copy of Rogan: The Cookbook by Simon Rogan

Rogan Jacket m res

We have four signed copies of Rogan: The Cookbook by Simon Rogan to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is comment on this article 'I'm in it to win it'.

Only one entry per member, you must be a member to take part - if you are not a member sign up now!

You have until 5 pm on Friday, September 14 to enter. All winners will be notified directly after a live draw which will take place on Facebook on Wednesday, September 12.

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Having worked at the highest level for many years, why is Simon choosing to write a book now and what is the inspiration behind it?

"Over the years we have been approached so many times to do a book and we have never really got our arses into gear to get one done," explained Simon. "I thought the timing was right and the farm has become the centre of everything that we do, so it made perfect sense to make that the main inspiration behind it to show what we do, but in a way that is really accessible and inspiring to people."

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Radish Stew from 
Rogan: The Cookbook

Rogan: The Cookbook perfectly communicates Simon's philosophy of taking farmed and foraged seasonal ingredients to create unforgettable dishes. With chapters focusing on herbs, vegetables, meat, fish and seafood, dairy and fruit recipes; Simon's book is beautifully illustrated throughout. 

Collaborating with his Head of Operations in London and Roux Scholarship 2016 winner,  Harry Guy, Simon worked on creating a book that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but is also practical too. His aim is to encourage people not only to cook but also to grow things and to seek out high-quality ingredients. 

He said: "I wanted it to be very attractive which I think we have achieved. It’s also very understated too – it’s not really what people expect. I think they were expecting all bells and whistles, but I wanted this to be understated, easy to understand, accessible and to not frighten people away.

I wanted it to be a practical book rather than be a trophy book that just sits on a coffee table only being looked at a couple of times per year."

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Chestnut Pasta is one of the
recipes in Rogan: The Cookbook

He added: "I know that sounds really obvious but so many people, including chefs, don’t do that. If you look after what you grow and what your ingredients are in the first place, then cooking is probably the easy part. Well, that’s the way I feel now. It’s more of an ingredient book than anything else."

Simon selects speciality ingredients which are accessible to everyone in each chapter and talks through their seasonality and how to make the best use of them when cooking.

The book embraces Simon's food philosophy which has always been about connecting the restaurant and the food he serves in the local area as well as the seasons,  Whilst Rogan: The Cookbook isn't a seasonal book, Simon, Harry and his team did go through the four seasons to ensure all of the ingredients he enjoys using are included in the book. 

Simon was unequivocal that he wanted to include simple recipes that were accessible and that didn't require a myriad of fancy ingredients and technology. 

"I think every chef wants to put out a cookbook that reflects them and their life’s work I suppose," explained Simon. "At this moment in time, this wasn’t an important factor for me. I am not saying that it won’t be in the future.

"It’s probably inevitable that we may do another cookbook that is more aligned to a more complicated approach say at L’Enclume, but that shouldn’t be too complicated either as that is the way I like to cook and eat these days. Every chef has one of those books to go out which is a bit of a legacy to their work.

"For me, a technical journal of all the things we have learned of the farm about the food and growing, the techniques, the mistakes we have made and the triumphs we have had would be the most interesting book for me. It’s not all about bells and whistles, it’s about education and trying to share our knowledge in a different way. So, I think a farming manual and the do’s and don’ts I would be very interested in doing one day and I think that will be really valuable to people. Lots of possibilities and we will see how that pans out."

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Qunice Tart from
Rogan: The Cookbook

Naturally, there are nods to L'Enclume, however, each of the recipes included had to meet the requirement that they could be recreated with ease by people in their own homes. 

Recipes in Simon's book showcase the amazing produce in Cumbria such as Aynsome Offering; Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket with Mushroom; Salt Cod Mousse, Black Radish and Green Garlic Sauce; Poached Pears with Rosehip and Cobnut Crumb. Simon has picked recipes that are simple, natural and fuss-free that encourages readers to use locally-sourced produce and to embrace his Farm to Plate ethos.

Simon's farm, where he and his team select what to grow, when it is harvested and how it is prepared, allowing Simon to truly set a benchmark for the calibre of ingredients, is showcased throughout his book.

Life as a top-class chef can be hectic, but curating and writing this book wasn't stressful for Simon. He describes the process as 'enjoyable' and says that his favourite thing about the process was learning about how the book came together. Despite his chef colleagues and friends warning him about how stressful it might be, Simon enjoyed the experience and cites sharing the burden of work with Harry as a big help. 

He said: "The set up made it quite enjoyable and the celebration when it was done was quite good! That was very very enjoyable!"

Rogan: The Cookbook by Simon Rogan, with photography by Cristian Barnett (HarperCollins, £30)

By Emma Harrison

@canteenemma

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th September 2018

WIN: A signed copy of Rogan: The Cookbook by Simon Rogan