|Simon Rogan to bring luxury dining to Manchester|
|Monday, 17 December 2012 12:30|
Chef and restaurateur Simon Rogan is aiming to set the trend for luxury dining in Manchester, by taking on two Manchester restaurants within the Midland Hotel.
The move comes on the back of a £400,000 investment in the company's food and beverage offering, which will see Rogan manage both the French, which was one of the first establishments in the UK to be awarded a Michelin star when the guide was launched in 1974, and a second, larger bar and dining room in the hotel currently named the Colony.
Rogan's aim is to modernise its offering within the city and, while the Midland is already renowned for its fine dining, Rogan said the partnership is about offering guests an experience that cannot be found anywhere else in Manchester.
It has been a busy year for Rogan, after L'Enclume, his Cartmel, Cumbria, restaurant with rooms, achieved a second Michelin star, and a "10 out of 10" Good Food Guide rating this autumn, as well as retaining five AA Restaurant Guide Rosettes.
Michael Purtill, managing director of owner, QHotels said: "Since the Midland opened its doors in 1903, food has very much been top of the agenda. Simon is a culinary genius and we're really proud to be associated with one of the UK's finest chefs.
Rogan said: "Since getting the second Michelin star, we have had numerous UK-wide opportunities for our next restaurant site. I have always loved Manchester – it's like being in London, but on a smaller scale. It's trendy and dynamic, but very accessible and friendly. Overall, the Manchester dining scene has been quite casual and bar driven, but this is a great opportunity to set the trend for luxury dining and the city is definitely ready for it."
The French, a fine dining 50-seat restaurant, will close for refurbishment in January 2013 and re-open in late February. The modern revamp will be respectful of the site's Grade II-listed status, incorporating many of its heritage features. Rogan is planning to offer L'Enclume-style cuisine with his signature use of British-only produce and ingredients.
The second, larger 150-seat restaurant, whose new name is yet to be confirmed, will be more informal, casual and contemporary. This restaurant will have the same Rogan style, although he and his chefs will not restrict the ingredients and dishes to UK-only influences.
Rogan will continue to be based in Cumbria, but he emphasises that Manchester is close enough to Cartmel for him to have a major, ongoing input into the new site, but not to be too distracted from L'Enclume, which is his prime focus. He is assembling a strong chef brigade to work alongside the existing team at the Midland Hotel.