British chef Rogan beats "Fat Duck" to lead top restaurant list

Reuters

By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - A British restaurant run by chef Simon Rogan and committed to nature not science has toppled celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck eatery as Britain's top restaurant after six years.

Rogan's 11-year-old riverside restaurant L'Enclume, which is located in the rural village of Cartmel in northern England's picturesque Lake District, was named Britain's top restaurant in the annual Good Food Guide, knocking three-star Michelin chef Blumenthal into second place.

Rogan attributed his success to using local ingredients in the kitchen at his two Michelin-starred restaurant to ensure flavours are always fresh and natural.

"I've always looked at how can I be different because that is my character," Rogan told Reuters in a phone interview on Wednesday.

"I am very fortunate to have a farm and to go out into the lane next door and pick wild herbs. How many people have that?"

Rogan, who trained under celebrity chef Marco Pierre White and has regularly appeared on TV, is well known for foraging ingredients from the countryside for his food.

"My style has been heavily dictated by our surroundings. It's that stubbornness to make sure we only use British local ingredients that has made us different," he said.

Dishes such as oyster pebbles, potato and onion ashes and cod 'yolk' with watercress are on offer at L'Enclume - French for anvil - with a tasting menu set at 120 pounds ($190) a head.

The 2014 edition of the Good Food Guide kept all of the same restaurants in its top 10 list as last year, but shuffled the order.

Cornish restaurant Nathan Outlaw rose to No. 3. Restaurant Sat Bains in middle England's Nottinghamshire and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London were ranked as numbers four and five.

The Good Food Guide is Britain's bestselling restaurant guide and was first published in 1951. It was bought by upmarket British supermarket Waitrose earlier this year.

(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang, editing by Paul Casciato)

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