Simon Rogan is globally recognised and celebrated for being a chef who creates dishes made with hyper-seasonal produce grown on neighbouring lands. Rogan has opened eating places throughout London and Hong Kong throughout his profession, however his most notable is L’Enclume within the UK.
In 2022, the restaurant celebrated 20 years in enterprise, with the anniversary coinciding with its third Michelin star — a long-term purpose shared by Rogan and his crew. Now, the chef is giving Sydneysiders a style of L’Enclume throughout a month-long residency at Bathers’ Pavilion this coming July.
Hospitality speaks to the chef in regards to the story behind L’Enclume and what diners can count on from his upcoming residency.
L’Enclume was Simon Rogan’s first solo restaurant enterprise, with the chef launching the tremendous diner again in 2002. “Opening my very own place had at all times been the purpose,” he says. “I had been working with plenty of very proficient cooks, and alongside the best way, started to know my very own private type. I felt it was the correct time to strike out by myself.”
Located within the English Lake District within the village of Cartmel, Rogan obtained a tipoff a couple of former blacksmith’s workshop and was immediately drawn to its appeal and close by farm.
It was very important for the chef to open a restaurant in a location that produced high quality components that will permit him to current a bespoke, area-based providing. “I needed to search out someplace that had direct entry to wonderful components and the place I could possibly be concerned within the rising course of,” he says. “I imagined it to be a spot the place the seasons and native space are deeply related, creating one thing utterly distinctive.”
The property is residence to L’Enclume, a chef’s desk and a improvement kitchen referred to as Aulis Cartmel in addition to Our Farm, which was established close by. Our Farm provides nearly all of the produce used at L’Enclume and Rogan’s different eating places throughout the UK.
The chef works alongside Head Grower John Rowland and Head Chef Liam Fitzpatrick on the backyard, which sees a bespoke collection of produce grown and later picked at its prime. “It’s actually thrilling to have the ability to present visitors that the kale or the flower they’ve been served on a dish at L’Enclume was rising at Our Farm that morning,” says Rogan.
Our Farm is an important piece of the chef’s meals philosophy at L’Enclume, which communicates a way of place by the plate. “Every dish champions the outstanding produce from the Lakes and displays our environment,” says
Rogan. “We put plenty of time into sourcing seeds, getting ready beds and nurturing every plant, so we need to present that.”
The chef describes the delicacies at L’Enclume as “seasonal, hyperlocal and natural produce-led cooking” that has a less-is-more strategy. The kitchen crew’s relationship with Our Farm additionally ensures the menu is at all times aligned with nature. “We all know what’s in peak season and whether or not there may be about to be a glut of one thing, which leads to a menu that can’t be replicated wherever else,” says Rogan. “It’s like a fingerprint made up of many alternative elements.”
He compares creating the menu to writing a poem as “it flows and has a construction, however is consistently evolving”. Locality is taken very severely at L’Enclume, which implies some components by no means grace the kitchen. Take citrus — it’s not in a position to be grown to an appropriate commonplace on Our Farm or within the wider Lakes space, so Rogan doesn’t use it.
As an alternative, the chef adapts and sources different components with related traits.
“We regularly substitute these vibrant, tangy notes through the use of berries or creating flavoured vinegars that emulate the flavour profile,” he says. “We now have additionally found that by fermenting courgettes, the ensuing juice has an analogous flavour to lemon.”
Our Farm isn’t just a supply of components, however a spot of discovery for the L’Enclume crew, who typically experiment with rising completely different vegetables and fruit. “We’re at all times looking out for actually fascinating varieties with distinctive flavours individuals might not have skilled earlier than,” says Rogan. “We don’t develop something too funky or out of the bizarre, however we are going to discover varieties of various greens.”
Celebrating 20 years in enterprise is not any imply feat and was a heartfelt milestone achieved by the crew in 2022. Rogan believes an surroundings based mostly on shared creativity has performed an important position within the longevity of the restaurant. “We now have a really collaborative manner of working,” he says. “Everybody has a voice on concepts and improvements for the way we are able to develop.”
Together with sharing new ideas, a seasonal mindset goes hand in hand with delivering an ever-changing menu for diners. “The very nature of our menu is ever-evolving and guided by the seasons,” says Rogan. “We’re continually altering up our providing and there may be at all times one thing new. We’re continually experimenting with new produce and completely different and surprising methods to make use of it.”
Final 12 months additionally noticed Rogan obtain a long-term purpose, with L’Enclume awarded a 3rd Michelin star. “It was an unbelievable second…I used to be utterly misplaced for phrases,” he remembers. “It’s been an aspiration I’ve been enthusiastic about for the final 20 years, and to have my unbelievable crew beside me, I couldn’t have requested for extra.”
Beforehand, L’Enclume held two Michelin inexperienced stars for its sustainability achievements, which embody producing zero meals waste. “Sustainability has been on the coronary heart of what we do from the very starting, and we’ve labored onerous to implement practices on each degree that scale back our affect,” says Rogan.
As Our Farm offers nearly all of L’Enclume’s produce, the restaurant has considerably minimised its carbon footprint as there isn’t a requirement for intensive transportation or packaging. It additionally has a composting program for meals waste that hasn’t been repurposed for pickling or fermenting functions.
Come July, Rogan and key members of the L’Enclume crew will journey to Sydney for a five-week residency at Bathers’ Pavilion. It’s the primary time Rogan has transported the L’Enclume expertise abroad, with the residency within the works since 2019. The chef is worked up to convey the idea to life on the venue the place he “fell in love” with the views of Balmoral Seashore and the water’s-edge eating expertise.
The residency will see a continuation of the L’Enclume strategy, with native components set to play a key position on the menu. “The chance to find a complete world of various components, develop relationships with native suppliers and the possibility for our crew to be taught and experiment with new produce in a totally completely different locality is extremely thrilling,” says Rogan.
Whereas it’s been a minute between journeys, it’s not the chef’s first time to Australia, with Rogan spending time in Melbourne the place he dined at Brae, Attica, Vue de monde and the Royal Mail Lodge in regional Victoria. “I’ve lengthy admired the culinary scene in Australia,” he says. “I like the number of landscapes that supply wildly completely different components to make use of in terms of cooking. We develop a tremendous number of components, however the hotter local weather in Australia means entry to components we simply can’t develop within the UK.”
Rogan will personally lead the L’Enclume crew and produce an eight-course menu with snacks and petit fours for the residency. The providing see dishes knowledgeable by Australian produce entwined with Rogan’s signature dishes. “Diners can count on to get an actual essence of L’Enclume in a tasting menu that can function some traditional dishes that elevate the perfect of native, seasonal and sustainable components,” says the chef. “We’ll be sourcing every thing from farms and producers in New South Wales and Australia. In that sense, it is going to be a unique expertise.”
Signature dishes Anvil, a caramel mousse with house-made miso and winter apple, and a Berkswell pudding with birch sap and stout vinegar may doubtlessly make an look on the Australian menu.
And whereas there’s a lot to sit up for in terms of exploring our bounty of native produce, Rogan admits he’s eager to work with seafood producers particularly. “There’s some unbelievable seafood in Australia that’s utterly completely different to what’s obtainable within the UK and I’m excited to attach with suppliers who’re main the best way in terms of sustainable practices,” he says. “The truth that the residency is longer than your common pop-up means we’ll have time to essentially cement these relationships.”
Service-wise, L’Enclume’s “refined, but relaxed and heat ambiance” might be recreated, one thing that has at all times been core to the restaurant expertise.
L’Enclume is a globally famend venue and its Sydney residency will current a contemporary problem for the tremendous diner to tackle.
Because it enters a brand new chapter, the primary worldwide residency for the restaurant is a progress alternative for everybody concerned. “It’s how we need to embark on our [next] decade, for the corporate and our crew to maintain pushing boundaries, fulfill our curious minds and by no means cease studying.”
L’Enclume at Bathers’ Pavilion will run from 19 July till 20 August 2023.