Chef of the Year

Chef of the Year

It’s difficult to overstate how much of a moment L’Enclume’s restaurant’s ascension to three-star status is. Not only is Simon Rogan’s Cumbria flagship the first restaurant that’s not in London or Bray to get full marks in Michelin’s UK and Ireland Guide, with the possible exception of The Fat Duck, it is the first in the UK and Ireland to have been awarded three stars serving a menu that does not have its roots in French cooking.

Rogan’s wider Umbel Group business is going great guns, too. The pandemic saw the launch of an extremely successful meal kits business and his array of other Lake District restaurants - including Rogan & Co and Henrock restaurant at Linthwaite House - were given a huge boost by the staycation boom. The chef even managed to expand his international empire, opening a successful bakery and wine bar in Hong Kong, which is already home to a Roganic restaurant and his chef’s table concept Aulis. 

The Southampton-born chef might keep a low profile, but he has had a marked and far-reaching influence on the UK’s restaurant scene with his naturalistic cooking and plating style having been replicated up and down the country with varying degrees of success.