Simon Rogan is the chef owner of L'Enclume in Cartmel

What does your job involve?  

 I own and run a group of restaurants working with an amazing team of people. We operate four restaurants in the Lake District; including the three Michelin starred L'Enclume, the one Michelin starred Rogan & Co, Henrock at Linthwaite House and Aulis Cartmel, as well as Aulis London and three restaurants in Hong Kong; The Baker & The Bottleman, Aulis Hong Kong and one Michelin starred Roganic Hong Kong. I also operate several other businesses in the Lakes including an online store, Home by Simon Rogan which sells an array of culinary related gifts and dining experiences, and our growing farm just outside Cartmel, which supplies my UK restaurants, known as Our Farm. Our Farm is a place where growers and chefs work side-by-side, an extension of the same ethos, drive and attention to detail found in all of my restaurants, which is central to my farm-to-table ethos. 

I drive a…  

Range Rover.

Who would you invite to your dream meal? (Six people, alive or dead)? 

There are too many people to choose from to be honest. But thinking about it, Roger Federer, Liam Gallagher, Gary Lineker, Sharon Osborne, Margot Robbie, and Anna Friel. All people I have cooked for before and I think they would all get along. 

My favourite TV programme is...

I don’t get much time to watch tv these days, but I would say Grand Designs when I do. 

Most memorable meal or favourite food? 

It’s too hard to choose but the best food experience I’ve ever had was at the La Ferme de mon Père in Megève which was the restaurant of the great French chef Marc Veyrat. The food, the setting, service, and ambience were unbelievable, and I was totally inspired by his innovative use of Alpine wild herbs, roots, and flowers in the dishes he cooked. 

My idea of a great weekend involves… 

Dinner with friends, but nothing too fussy. I am a sucker for a nice, big, fat, aged rib eye steak with all the trimmings and a peppercorn sauce, all washed down by a lovely little claret. I’d have to finish with a tangy, fragrant lemon tart...That normally leads to a few more drinks and a kitchen disco in one of our houses. 

Biggest inspiration? 

That would be Paul Norman who was then the head chef at Rhinefield House, who was responsible for giving me a really strong grounding in the basics as his apprentice, followed by Marc Veyrat, whose use of wildflowers and herbs inspired my food ethos and then how could I forget Jean-Christophe Novelli who set me on the road to where I am now? But in the wider sense over the years, I’ve also been hugely inspired by the stunning Lake District scenery that surrounds us, the team members I’ve worked with over the years and naturally by the quality of the ingredients available to me produced by the team at Our Farm. All of those things have in their own way played a part in inspiring me. 

Best advice you’ve ever been given? 

Lead by example, don’t expect others to do what you wouldn’t do yourself.  

Which sport do you follow and who do you support? 

Football and my native Southampton - I'd always wanted to be a pro-sportsman when I was younger but just didn't have the discipline or patience at the time. That came much later.  

Favourite pub, café, or restaurant in Cumbria? 

That's a tricky one, there's a fair few that spring to mind. The Black Bull, at Sedbergh, Heft, High Newton, Harry's at Yew Tree Barn, and Marra in Kendal all fit the bill. 

Favourite walk in Cumbria? 

I love walking all over the place but the trails around Bassenthwaite and Coniston stick out. My favourite has to be the walk along Wastwater for the spectacular scenery looking up at Scafell Pike, finishing up at the Wasdale Inn for a well-earned pint. 

Best view in Cumbria? 

Looking down from Kirstone over Brotherswater - that's pretty spectacular - but then so is the view from the top of Hardknott or the top of Hartside looking down over the Eden Valley towards the Solway. I guess we're a bit spoilt for choice! 

 What was the first piece of music you ever bought? 

 The Police and the album Regatta de Blanc.

Tell us something you’ve learnt in the past fortnight...

Sir Isaac Newton, discoverer of the principles of gravity, also invented the cat flap. I overheard this snippet during a conversation between friends about fitting one to their door. It’s a fact I haven’t verified, but I’d like to think is accurate… 

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know... 

In my teens, I was a country dancing champion!  

Early riser or enjoy a lie-in? 

Early riser. It's something that just comes with the territory, you just get used to getting up and cracking on with prep, though admittedly I don't have to get up as early as I used to, but old habits die hard, I guess. 

How important is social media to you and what channels do you use? 

Instagram is really important for us as a restaurant group, especially with so many concepts and it’s another way to engage with our guests and potential guests. It also helps us to showcase some of the amazing work that is going on behind the scenes, to tell stories about the team, as well as providing a snapshot of what’s going on at the farm, in the restaurants, and the village. Simply put a restaurant's Instagram page is now just as important as its website and that’s become even more apparent in recent times I’d say.  
The book or film which has had a lasting impact on you? 

A book called Great Chefs of France: The Masters of Haute Cuisine & Their Secrets by A. G. Blake and Quentin Crewe was a massive inspiration to me when I was deciding what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to create a restaurant just like those run by all of the French legends that feature in that book. 

Apart from a mobile phone, which piece of technology has improved your life in the last couple of years? 

My M6 toll tag transmitter. Now I don’t have to stop at all when I’m travelling between the North and the South, not even at the toll booth.