Simon Rogan Kitchen Confidential

Simon Rogan, head chef of Cumbria’s L’Enclume, celebrates local seasonal ingredients, planted and picked by his own fair hand...

Cooking With

Every morning you’ll find me digging, weeding and planting in our 15-acre farm. Here, we grow everything and more from leeks, parsnips, carrots, turnips, peas and potatoes to apples, plums, damsons and blackberries.

Root vegetables are in abundance at this time of the year and we grow different varieties of British beetroots including boltardy, golden and candy. In my opinion, the best way to cook this vegetable is in a salt crust made of flour, salt and water and then rolled out like pastry. The beetroot can then be encased in the pastry and baked. The salt draws out the moisture and leaves a beautiful tasting beetroot that goes well with mustard vinaigrette.

We’re in wild garlic central here, and from the spot that leads up to the farm, I can find plenty of it at this time of year and I like to use it to its full extent, picking it from the delicate shoots right up to the flowering stage. Kent may be known as the Garden of England but Cumbria and the surrounding area has everything Kent has to offer and so much more.

All our crab is sourced from Morecambe Bay and I serve it quite simply with potatoes. After cooking the potatoes I caramelise them; I do this by gently frying them and then deglazing them with brown chicken stock – this gives the potatoes that lovely, crunchy Sunday roast chicken flavour. I serve them on a bed of flaked crab and horseradish cream sprinkled with crispy chicken skin – you can see why this is one of our best dishes. Fresh mackerel we get from Lancashire and because it has a lot of flavour I prepare it with just some lettuce, bay crab and pickled vegetables. Scallops are also great to work with; and as we are only 75 miles from the border, we get ours fresh from Scotland. I find that they are incredibly fresh and plump.

Who i'm using

Wellgate fisheries in Clitheroe is fantastic, probably the best fish supplier I’ve ever used. They are honest and reliable and won’t send me any suprises. I source all my milk, suckling pig and lamb from Martin Gott who works on the Holker Estate in Cartmel. He has just recently opened an artisan cheese shop so, thanks to him, L’Enclume’s cheese board is now dominated by a variety of British cheeses.



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