My Life In Food: Simon Rogan, chef, L'Enclume


Simon Rogan opened L'Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria in 2003. It has held a Michelin star since 2008. He has since opened a two-year, pop-up restaurant, Roganic, in London's Marylebone.

What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?

I would say my most used piece of kit must probably be my thermo blender. It does everything from simple slicing to puréeing and heating at the same time. It appears in most of our recipes somewhere – currently we're using it to make flower paste. I don't really have a least used piece of equipment, because if it isn't used, I just get rid of it. That said, the microwave isn't often in use.

If you had only £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

At the moment, my mood would swing me to the Chipotle chain of restaurants. It's sort of like a Mexican fast food chain, and the food's really tasty. I'm based in Cumbria but when I'm in London and I'm finishing work and I need a snack, that's the sort of place I go to. We've got one round the corner from Roganic. It does all types of Mexican food but the best thing there are the burritos.

What do you eat for comfort?

I eat a lot of sandwiches – when I'm working I just like something quick. A particular favourite is slices of nicely cooked ham with plenty of mayonnaise on fresh bread. I'm a traditionalist by choice, so that may explain part of the appeal (I love a good cup of tea, too). But, as I'm up in Cumbria, my choices are a little limited anyway.

If you could only eat bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

That is a tough one, because I love both. But on taste and usage, potatoes just have the edge. They're so versatile and you can cook them in so many different ways, and they're quite simple to use, too. Equally true of bread, I suppose, but still, potatoes are best.

What's your desert island recipe?

Well, my favourite dish is roast gurnard duck, and I could cut my recipe for that right down to the minimum. So I'd just want there to be plenty of gurnards on the island and something to make fire with.

What's your favourite restaurant?

I'm a big lover of Thai food and there's a restaurant in Kendal I go to quite a lot called Sawadee Thai – which translates as "welcome". We go there quite a lot because it's quick and easy, and, importantly, it's on the way home from shopping.

What's your favourite cookbook?

It would be Essential Cuisine by Michel Bras. I like the simplicity of the book's layout. And the pictures are hugely inviting. Plus the recipes are just beautiful. He is an absolute legend.

Who taught you to cook?

From a young age I'd be in the kitchen, helping out with family meals – cooking this and that. So that was where it probably all came from. But, professionally, I was taught by Paul Norman. I was his apprentice at the restaurant at the Rhinefield House Hotel in the New Forest. I was there, working to him, for three and a half years, so I suppose you could say he was the man who set me on the road to where I am now.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor