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British chef gets Claridge’s top kitchen gig

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Acclaimed chef Simon Rogan has been named as Gordon Ramsay’s successor to run the restaurant in Claridge’s hotel.

Rogan, who owns L’Enclume in the Lake District, which boasts two Michelin stars and was recently named Restaurant of the Year, was selected ahead of a string of renowned names from the culinary world.

Claridge’s today confirmed the news, describing Rogan as “one of the most creative and exciting chefs in the UK”. They did not disclose their plans for the restaurant kitchen but said they were aiming for the new venue to open in spring next year.

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Rogan is famed for creating dishes that entail local British produce sourced from his own farm in Cumbria and the hotel said that his use of seasonal ingredients would be a defining element for his new restaurant.

“We are very excited about bringing Simon Rogan to Claridge’s. He is a home-grown British talent and we believe his inspiring culinary vision builds on a bold approach for which Claridge’s has always been known,” said general manager Thomas Kochs.

Rogan told the Evening Standard this afternoon that he is aiming to come up with something that reflects the timelessness and history of Claridge’s, but admitted that emulating everything that L’Enclume has achieved would be a “massive challenge”.

Rogan told the paper he was actually on the brink of signing a contract with a rival five-star hotel before Claridge’s made its approach.

He said: “There was never any question about what I would do once I got the call from Thomas [Kochs]. It’s real ‘pinch yourself’ material. It’s like playing for Real Madrid and then getting signed for Barcelona but being allowed to play for both teams. To jump in the cab at Euston and say “take me to Claridge’s” is something I never get tired of.”

The name of the restaurant has not been decided, but Rogan confirmed that it would not have his name above the door.

“They want me to leave a legacy, a restaurant to go on long after Simon Rogan has hung up his apron and retired,” he said. “We couldn’t be more different to Gordon Ramsay. Thankfully the path they’ve chosen to pursue is to put a very proud British chef into a world-class British institution.”

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Andrew Seymour

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