Two-Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan is to take over the management of two restaurants at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.
The chef-proprietor of L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, and Roganic in London, will take over the running of the former Michelin-starred French restaurant as well as the hotel’s second, larger bar and dining room, which is currently called the Colony.
Rogan’s appointment coincides with a £400,000 investment taking place at the Midland Hotel. This will include a complete refurbishment of the 50-seat French, which will close in January and reopen late in February. The modern revamp will incorporate the Grade-II listed room’s historic features.
At the French, Rogan will serve his renowned L’Enclume-style cuisine focused on British only ingredients. The second, larger restaurant, which is yet-to-be-named, will seat around 150 diners and offer a more casual menu not exclusively based on British ingredients.
Commenting on his appointment, Rogan said: “Since getting the second Michelin star, we have had numerous UK-wide opportunities for our next restaurant sites. I have loved Manchester – it’s like being in London, but on a smaller scale. It’s trendy, dynamic, but very accessible and friendly. Overall, the Manchester dining scene has been quite casual and bar-driven, but this is a great opportunity to set the trend for luxury dining, and the city is definitely ready for it.”
Michael Purtill, managing director of Q Hotels, owner of the Midland Hotel, added: “Simon is a culinary genius and we’re really proud to be associated with one of the UK’s finest chefs. This partnership marks a new chapter for the hotel, in particular the French, in modernising our offering within the city.”
Rogan, who also runs Rogan & Co in Cartmel, as well as the Pig & Whistle pub, will continue to be based in Cumbria and is in the process of putting together a brigade to oversee the day-to-day running of the operations at the Midland Hotel.
The French was one of Britain’s first Michelin-starred restaurants back in the 1970s, when Michelin relaunched its UK guide in 1974.
“There is huge affection for the Midland hotel in Manchester and I want to help bring its restaurants back to their former glory. It’s a wonderful challenge,” Rogan said.
L’Enclume gained its second Michelin star in the 2013 guide to Great Britain and Ireland, which was published in October. The restaurant also scored a perfect 10/10 in the latest Good Food Guide, ranking it top in the UK together with Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck.
By Kerstin Kühn
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Published by: The Caterer