Simon Rogan, owner of L’Enclume and winner of AA Chef of the Year Award 2016
The cookbook that has most influenced your cooking
The father of one of my best friends at school was an ex-army chef who had a copy of French Country Cooking by Elizabeth David that I was infatuated with.
Most memorable food you ate in childhood
I always remember the day my mother introduced me to tuna fish and mayonnaise sandwiches with loads of added vinegar…it blew my mind!
Your favourite food shop
Love the little Brindisa shop in Borough Market.
Most memorable meal in film/literature/painting
It has to be Ratatouille – charming.
Your worst kitchen disaster
Recently, when making some coronation chicken for a barbecue, I mistook a jar of pesto for a jar of green curry paste and inadvertently created “pestonation chicken”, which was a bit of a disaster but actually quite nice.
The first thing you taught your children to cook/or were taught yourself
That’s an easy one – beef curry! I watched my mum make it once or twice and then I was off.
What would you like your final meal to be?
Right now I’m thinking a nice Beef Wellington with dauphinoise potatoes, Vichy carrots and buttered French beans, finished with a rich truffle jus. But that’s today – tomorrow it might be completely different!
What is your secret talent [in or out of the kitchen]?
I like gardening and have been known to grow a thing or two….
What did you eat for breakfast today?
A bowl of cornflakes and a slice of toast with lots of tea.
Which seasonal food do you most look forward to?
The first spring shoots of sweet cicely that grow in the hills over Cartmel valley. They are a sign of the coming warmer months and the produce related to them. I look forward to using the plant in many ways right up to the end of summer.
Over-rated/ under-rated food/seasoning/gadget
The most overrated ingredient is caviar, and underrated is cabbage; the most overrated seasoning is saffron, underrated is yeast flakes; the most overrated gadget is a garlic press, and underrated is a speed peeler.