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Simon Rogan to take over Claridge's restaurant

04 November 2013 by
Simon Rogan to take over Claridge's restaurant

Simon Rogan is to open a new restaurant in London's Claridge's, occupying the site left vacant following Gordon Ramsay's departure this summer.

Two-Michelin-starred Rogan, who this year also topped the Good Food Guide with his Cartmel restaurant L'Enclume and won two Cateys in July, is currently one of the UK's hottest chefs.

The new restaurant is set to open in spring 2014.

Claridge's general manager Thomas Kochs said: "We are very excited about bringing Simon Rogan to Claridge's. He is a home-grown British talent and we believe his inspiring culinary concept for the hotel will lead the way for a new dining direction, building on the bold approach for which Claridge's has always been known."

"Naturally we had conversations with a number of incredible chefs from around the world, all of whom we respect hugely. With Simon though we believe we have found someone really special. The restaurant at Claridge's is and always has been a very special and important place in the London dining scene and we want that to continue. Simon has already established himself as one of Britains leading chefs with a wonderful track record, yet there is so much more to come. The way he looks at food, at the overall dining experience, his passion for British ingredients, most grown on his own farm, were all touches that fascinated us and set him apart. It will also be a priority to him to spend a significant amount of time in this restaurant, which will be so important."

"The restaurant at Claridge's is and always has been one of London's grandest and most exciting dining rooms. We want to continue to offer exactly this, with a feel of today and a view towards the future, whilst there will always be utmost respect to the rich heritage that Claridge's offers. The design, service style and food offering will reflect exactly that. It will be a room that you simply want to be in."

Rogan's modern British cooking style and creative techniques are inspired by his love of indigenous produce, which he sources from his own farm in Cumbria. His trailblazing use of fresh ingredients will be a defining factor for the new restaurant at Claridge's.

Stephen Alden, CEO of Maybourne Hotel Group comments: "It is no secret that at Maybourne the quality of dining at our hotels, and creating places where people want to be, is an essential part of our philosophy. At every opportunity, we set out to build strong collaborations with likeminded partners. When we first met Simon, we immediately sensed the shared belief in creating something truly special that both our guests and Londoners would enjoy. His talent combined with our address and genuine commitment to exceptional service are a great match."

Since Rogan and his partner Penny Tapsell opened L'Enclume, his first venture as chef-proprietor, in Cartmel, Cumbria, in 2002, his achievements have been considerable. The fact that two potential premises in Brighton fell through before he decided to go ahead and acquire a former smithy, dating from the 13th century, now looks like serendipity.

"There is no doubt that Cumbria has helped drive our success," said Rogan. "It is a mysterious and magical place which allows you time to develop. I feel torn between here and the New Forest, where I spent my early years as a chef."

In addition to L'Enclume, he runs an English brasserie, Rogan and Company, the Pig & Whistle pub, a development kitchen (Aulis) with private dining for up to six covers, and a 13-acre farm. In autumn this year he also launched two Manchester restaurants: the French at the Midland hotel in Manchester, and Mr Cooper's House and Garden, also at the Midland.

Gordon Ramsay's tenure at Claridge's lasted more than a decade but he had been unable to agree a long-term contract with owner Maybourne Hotel Group.

It closed on 30 June. Ramsay first opened the restaurant in 2001 with Mark Sargeant in charge of the kitchen. It gained a Michelin star in 2003, which it retained until Sargeant left in 2009. GRH's previous 10-year contract ran out in 2011 and was subsequently extended by two one-year contracts.

Ramsay, who has run the former Michelin-starred restaurant at the five-star Mayfair hotel since 2001, has now ended all relationships with Maybourne.

GRH previously operated four restaurants at Maybourne's London hotels, including Angela Hartnett at the Connaught and Pétrus and Boxwood Café at the Berkeley. None of the restaurants' contracts were renewed upon expiry and are now occupied by Hélène Darroze; Marcus Wareing and Pierre Koffmann respectively.

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