Clare Smyth, chef-owner of Core by Clare Smyth in London, has been voted as the elit® Vodka World’s Best Female Chef 2018 ahead of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Bilbao, Spain on 19 June. The award, now in its eighth year, seeks to shine a spotlight on extraordinary talent and excellence among female chefs.
Accepting the prestigious accolade, Smyth said it was an absolute honour and dedicates the award to women in the industry, “This accolade is not for me but for all the women working in the hospitality industry around the world. I hope to use this platform to encourage and mentor more women to achieve success.”
Smyth, who grew up on a farm in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, was the first and only female chef in the UK to hold three Michelin stars, for Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, formerly known as Royal Hospital Road, in Chelsea, London. She worked with top British chef Ramsay for more than 13 years before opening her own modern fine dining restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth, in London’s Notting Hill neighbourhood, in 2017.
Leaving Northern Ireland at the age of 16, Smyth worked in some of the most celebrated kitchens in the world, including Alain Ducasse’s renowned Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, where she won a 10/10 score in the Good Food Guide and five AA rosettes. Smyth, now 39, was honoured with an MBE in 2013 for services to the hospitality industry.
With an emphasis on natural, sustainable food sourced from the UK’s most dedicated farmers and producers, Core is an elegant but informal fine dining restaurant offering sophisticated modern British cuisine. Smyth and her team create beautifully crafted dishes such as the ‘Lamb carrot’ and ‘Potato and roe’, often inspired by memories from her childhood in Northern Ireland. Almost everything in the restaurant is British, from the plates and silverware to the art and the best of local produce including Morecombe Bay shrimps and Isle of Mull scallops.
Smyth follows in the footsteps of a series of world-renowned female chefs in holding the prestigious title, including Ana Roš in 2017; in 2016, Dominique Crenn, who will also host the inaugural 50 Best BBVA Scholarship winner at her restaurant Atelier Crenn later this year; Hélène Darroze (2015); Elena Arzak (2013) and Anne-Sophie Pic (2011).