Simon Rogan has revealed that he is to open two restaurants this year.
Speaking at the closing interview at the Hospitality Show in Birmingham, the two-Michelin-starred chef told GS Magazine editor Stirling Johnstone that he was close to finalising on a site in the Windermere area and one on the south coast.
"We are looking to do a Mr Cooper's-style restaurant in Cumbria, so a big, 100-cover brasserie. I really enjoy that concept [the first one opened in the Midland Hotel in Manchester in 2013] - it has been embraced by Manchester, and the reason [I have chosen to repeat that concept] is it's quite unlike any other restaurant in our group.
"It's food from all over the world so we can have a bit of pasta on the menu, have some Chinese influence, some Indian, some North African, Greek. The gloves are off, there are no rules, and I really like eating food like that."
The 2013 Chef Award and Independent Restaurateur of the Year Catey winner went on to say: "I really enjoy designing food like that and I think it's the easiest concept to roll out and grow. I don't think we would be looking at any more top-end restaurants, I think three is enough in L'Enclume [in Cartmel, Cumbria], the French [at the Midland in Manchester] and Fera [at Claridge's]. I can see more opportunities for that style in other parts of the country."
Rogan's second new venture this year will be on the south coast, where he originally hails from. "We are looking at two sites at the moment, and it will be very fish-orientated. We've not got a fish restaurant, and I think I can do fish pretty well if I put my mind to it."
The chef, who opened Fera at Claridge's in London to critical acclaim last May, this morning also announced that he has appointed David Simms to the role of managing director for the organisation's umbrella company Umbel Restaurant Group.