Last year, Rogan told BigHospitality that the perfect rating was ‘the icing on the cake’and this time around the chef is just as jubilant at the results, with L’Enclume overtaking Blumenthal’s Bray establishment in the 63-year-old guide which is now published by Waitrose.
“I'm so proud of my staff and this phenomenal achievement with The Good Food Guide,” Rogan said. “This is something we have always dreamed about. We have received this accolade because of our focus on both the food product and the customer - keeping it natural and fresh in the kitchen, and friendly but professional in the dining room.
“The development of the infrastructure behind the scenes has also been a key factor to our success as we are constantly evolving and improving what we have in place, and will continue to do so.”
Despite the recent change of publisher, the format of the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2014 is the same as in previous years: Restaurants are awarded a cooking score out of 10 and then ranked to form a top 50 from across the UK. The 2014 edition has seen all ten restaurants from 2013 hang on to their top 10 ranking, with Cornish favourite Restaurant Nathan Outlaw rising to number three, replacing Restaurant Sat Bains.
Interactive map: The top 10
This year's good news for Rogan isn’t just confined to L’Enclume. His recently opened fine-dining restaurant The French, based at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, has been awarded Best New Entry, shooting straight up to number 12 in the top 50 listing.
Rogan has been working in restaurants for almost 30 years. At L’Enclume, he oversees the growing of vegetables destined for his plates and almost two years ago he built his own 12-acre organic farm from scratch. He also runs the sister restaurant Rogan & Company and local pub The Pig & Whistle- both in Cartmel.
The chef will now undoubtedly be hoping that L’Enclume moves up the rankings in the National Restaurant Awardsnext month, having seen the restaurant come in just outside the top 10 in 2012.
Leader of the pack
Consultant Editor of the Good Food Guide, Elizabeth Carter, explained what she thinks makes L’Enclume so special. “After achieving the top score in last year’s Guide, Rogan and his team haven’t missed a beat, despite the pressures of the past year - from opening the French at the Midland Hotel in Manchester to overseeing a pop-up restaurant in London.
“Rogan rightfully takes his place as leader of the pack when it comes to modern British cooking. His fantastic way with seasonal ingredients from the Cumbrian land and coast brings dishes that are a joyful celebration of this county’s magnificent diversity.
“L’Enclume is truly deserving of the number one spot.”
This year’s number two, The Fat Duck, should not be overseen, though. Blumenthal’s restaurant has now scored a perfect ten for six years in a row - longer than any other restaurant since the guide adopted its scoring system 15 years ago. Currently, L’Enclume and The Fat Duck are the only two restaurants in the UK to achieve the perfect score.
Meanwhile, the Good Food Guide's Chef of the Year award went to David Everitt-Matthias of Le Champignon Sauvage - his Cheltenham restaurant also holds two Michelin stars.
Carter added: "Le Champignon Sauvage is in a league of it’s own. For a start, David Everitt-Matthias’s cooking has never stood still - he acknowledges the developments in the restaurant world without feeling any undue need to follow them slavishly. And it is one of the mysteries of the cooking world that after 25 years, David continues to turn out dish after dazzling dish. He is such an inspirational chef."
Top 10 list (last year’s ranking in brackets): -
- L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria - Cooking score of 10 (2)
- The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire -10 (1)
- Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Rock, Cornwall - 9 (5)
- Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham - 9 (3)
- Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London - 9 (4)
- Pollen Street Social, London - 9 (6)
- Hibiscus, London. Cooking score 8 - (8)
- The Square, London. Cooking score 8 - (9)
- The Ledbury, London. Cooking score 8 - (10)
- Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire - 8 (7)
The Waitrose Good Food Guide 2014 will be published on 9 September, available in bookshops and Waitrose branches.