Simon Rogan (pictured) has said that he plans to spend much more time working hands-on at his London restaurant Roganic, following the resignation of its head chef, Ben Spalding.
Spalding announced his decision to leave on Twitter over the weekend. He said: “I have made the very hard decision to leave Roganic to spend more time with my young family and pursue my dream of opening my own restaurant. I am very grateful to every single member of the team at Roganic who worked so hard to make it what it is today.”
Rogan, who is based at his other restaurant L’Enclume and development kitchen Aulis in Cartmel, Cumbria, indicated that both he and his assistant Dan Cox would both spend much more time in London following Spalding’s departure. Meanwhile, Andrew Tomlinson, the current sous-chef at Roganic, will step-up to run the kitchen on a day-to-day basis.
Rogan added that he didn’t think he would immediately try to find a successor to Spalding. “I want to take more of an interest in what Roganic says. Like all good establishments it is not all about one person, it is about the team and how they can remain consistent. I am lucky that I have a brilliant team at L’Enclume who can cope with my absence so I can spend more time at Roganic.”
Commenting on Spalding’s departure, he added: “It was a mutual decision. At the back end of last year we had two concerns that contributed to this. Ben decided to move back to Folkestone and I suppose the strain of the commute and being away from his family was a big contributing factor. But the other part is that Ben is quite enthusiastic about his career and where he wants things to go. He wants to use ingredients and methods that don’t sit well with our concept. So it is quite apparent that he needs to go off and do his own thing. I wish him all the best and I will help him in any way that I can. But he is only one member in an organisation that is now probably 70 strong. We have a very talented team that can deal with any eventuality.”
Rogan is supported at L’Enclume by Mark Birchall, the 2011 Roux Scholar, who has headed up the brigade for the past four years.
The 2012 Roux Scholar will be announced tonight following at cook-off at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park today. Follow @caterertweets for results.
By Neil Gerrard
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