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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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For capital nosh, stay in Cumbria

The first hints of what this year’s Taste Cumbria food festival will be offering have been revealed – and it’s already looking very, er, tasty.

Organisers have signed up Cumbria’s top chef to star in what has become a delicious annual foodie event at Cockermouth.

Until now, only a few people have realised that Simon Rogan is the best chef outside of London and the Home Counties.

He’s even vying with a certain Heston Blumenthal for the title of most adventurous chef in the UK with his menus culled from the sea and countryside of Cumbria.

Dishes include onion cheese wafers, oyster pebbles and carrot lobster sacks, cod ‘yolk’ with ham and radish, salt and vinegar and dumplings of golden turnip in Westcombe cheddar, alexanders (wild celery) and rock samphire.

Even though it is in out-of-the-way Cartmel, his L’Enclume restaurant has two Michelin stars and is a regular in any top 10 list of UK restaurants.

Rogan has recently been raising his profile outside the foodie world, opening a new restaurant in London called Roganic and recently appearing in BBC1’s Masterchef.

He is due to appear in the new series of BBC2’s Great British Menu and he will star in the Taste Cumbria festival in Cockermouth on September 29-30.

Last year’s event attracted around 20,000 people to Cockermouth to watch demonstrations by the Hairy Bikers, Tom Kitchin and food adventurer Stefan Gates and to sample and buy some of the best food from the region.

Rogan has been signed up as ‘brand ambassador’ for the event and Mary Houston, food tourism manager for Cumbria Tourism says: “Simon is indisputably one of the Cumbrian food scene’s most dynamic individuals, enjoying national and international acclaim for his cutting-edge cuisine, using the finest of home-grown and locally-sourced ingredients.”

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