Simon Rogan is an experienced chef with a host of nature-inspired restaurants that focus on seasonal produce. Rogan’s interest in food started with his father who worked at a wholesale fruit and veg market, often coming home with boxes of exotic produce. Although at first he was suspicious of the ingredients, Rogan accredits this for his love of seasonal produce. Already interested in cooking, at the age of 14 Rogan got a job at a local Greek restaurant in Southampton, although this was not a concerted move to become a chef at this point - a career in football was very much on the cards with trials for Chelsea and a training contract with Fulham as real possibilities. However, Rogan realised that these were unlikely and pursued catering college where he was driven by competitiveness to be better than the chefs he was surrounded by, all of whom were more experienced.
At 17, Rogan got an apprenticeship at Rhinefield House Hotel working under a chef who had previously been at The Savoy, and here was taught classical skills. Though unpaid, Rogan fell in love with his time here and became passionate about foraging, spending time off foraging for mushrooms and herbs in forests and hedgerows. After this he became a pastry chef at Geddes Restaurant in Southampton and here, working under Jean Christophe Novelli for eight years, he realised the life that could be achieved as a chef - travelling the world and working with interesting people. During this time, he worked stints at other restaurants under chefs such as Marco Pierre White.
This led to him working at the three-starred Lucas Carton in Paris in the 1990s for two years and following this, his first head chef role at Adlington Place in Croydon. In 2002 Rogan, and his partner Penny Tapsell opened their first restaurant in Cartmel, Cumbria, L’Enclume. His first Michelin star came in 2005, his second coming in 2013. The 2015 Good Food Guide gave him a 10/10 rating describing the food of his 21-course tasting menu as ‘miracles of nature’. Now with multiple restaurants across London, the UK and Hong Kong, Rogan keeps his focus on the enthusiasm for ingredients that he learnt from his time as a child as well as his appreciation for foraging and natural ingredients. Most of the produce he uses in his restaurants now comes from his own farm, ‘Our Farm’.