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Clare Smyth

Clare Smyth
A close-up of Clare Smyth

Clare Smyth

Clare Smyth catered the “after-party” for the Royal Wedding of Megan and Harry, She was awarded a perfect 10 and the highest ever new entry in the UK Good Food Guide 2019. This year she was recognised as the World’s best female chef by World’s 50 Best Restaurant. As Chef Smyth says: “ I want to be a great chef, just because I am one, not because I am a woman” but accepted the accolade in the hope it would inspire her peers. What’s more, Clare received two stars as a new entry in the 2019 Michelin Guide, 5 AA rosettes. Yet Core by Clare Smyth only opened in August 2017 in London’s Notting Hill. Previously chef Smyth had helmed Gordon Ramsay Hospital Road, retaining its 3 Michelin stars.

Aside from her impeccable credentials, Clare has always been admirably driven and focussed. Aged 17, she moved from the farm in County Antrim, Northern Ireland where she was born in 1978 and spent her childhood. She came to England to study culinary arts at Highbury College. She honed her skills working and staging both in the UK and Australian restaurants, alongside the most influential chefs around the world including Heston Blumenthal and The Roux Brothers.

Chef Smyth joined Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in 2002, working her way up to become Senior Sous Chef. Wanting to enhance her experience, Clare joined the team Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo for two years 2005-2007 before returning to London and Gordon Ramsay Restaurant as Head Chef in 2007. She was made Chef Patron in 2012 and appointed MBE for services to hospitality in the following year.

Since opening her first solo restaurant Core in August 2017, Clare’s star has continued to rise. The restaurant, in the heart of Notting Hill, celebrates the finest British produce and craftsmen. Chef Clare thinks nothing of digging potatoes at dawn with an agronomist to better understand how to make her signature even better. Throughout the menu, Clare’s adamant belief in sustainability, using every part of the produce whether meat, fish or vegetables and meticulous attention to detail shine through alongside her classical French training. As near neighbour in Notting Hill, chef Brett Graham of The Ledbury says:  It takes a chef with real skill to turn something as simple as a potato into something absolutely delicious.    The dining room is a reflection of Clare’s own understated elegance, cool, blonde, crisp, quietly, subtly in pursuit of perfection.

Chef Clare is a game-changer in her model of how she operates her restaurant as a de facto internal academy running a weekly training day when kitchen staff are given projects to research which they present to the whole team. There’s also a daily training session prior to each service, when a staff member prepares notes and briefs the team on a particular dish or wine to inspire the team to do their work with greater confidence and knowledge. Her mantra: “we’re here to take care of people” applies both to her team - and to her customers. Though there is no salt and pepper on the table, it will always be provided and meat cooked as the diner requests. Likewise, the relaxed dress code endorses Clare’s aim to make Core by Clare, a new kind of more informal fine dining restaurant with Clare’s own playlist and more of a luxe home feel.

Signature dishes:

  • Lamb carrot elevating humble carrot slow-cooked with braised lamb neck and lamb bun/dumpling made with lamb fat, crisp lamb fat, carrot top pesto with chervil and basil with housemade sheep’s yoghurt. Customers are encouraged to stappeta the plate with the bread.
  • Potato with seaweed, smoked trout, herring roe, beurre blanc and salt and vinegar crisps.
British Food Now: “There’s Something So Desperately Desperate about Nordic Cuisine”
Clare Smyth, Luke French, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Cunningham at Food on The Edge in Galway, Ireland for a panel discussion on British Food Now.
The World Restaurant Awards unveils nominations longlist and judging panel
The World Restaurant Awards unveils its longlist of nominations in a range of 18 diverse categories as well as their judging panel with a 50/50 gender split.
Watch the Trailer for Netflix's New All-Star Cooking Show
Netflix's The Final Table will premiere November 20. Watch the trailer for this exciting new cooking competition show featuring the world's best chefs.
Clare Smyth Says Writer Published Bad Article Without Visiting Her Restaurant
A national writer posted a negative piece about a restaurant in London but the chef says she never stepped foot inside the restaurant.
Clare Smyth on Ridiculous Reviews and Opening a New Restaurant
Clare Smyth explains what it takes to open a restaurant in London and claims someone wrote a bad review of her restaurant without even visiting.
Netflix Go All-In with New Cooking Competition: The Final Table
Netflix are launching a new cooking competition featuring some of the world's best chefs. Called The Final Table, it's expected to launch this Fall.
Clare Smyth: 'We Must Encourage People from All Backgrounds to Achieve Success'
The World's Best Female Chef reflects on how to make the industry more human in her acceptance speech at the World's 50 Best.
See the Amazing Chefs Line-Up for #50BestTalks San Sebastian
Take look at the amazing line-up of chefs who'll be speaking at the next #50BestTalks event in San Sebastian, ahead of the World's 50 Best Restaurants 2018.
The Week in Bites: 06 May 2018
This week at FDL we brought you exclusive interviews with British chef Clare Smyth and Filippino chef Margarita Forés, a look at Asia's 50 Best Bars, and more.
Clare Smyth: 'With Enough Self-Belief anything is Possible'
A chat with the British chef of Core restaurant in London, who has been named as the recipient of the elit Vodka World's Best Female Chef Award 2018.
Clare Smyth Named World's Best Female Chef 2018
British chef Clare Smyth has been named World's Best Female Chef 2018 by The World's 50 Best Restaurants, an award she'll receive at the ceremony in Bilbao.
10 Dishes from Clare Smyth's First Solo Restaurant
10 Dishes from Clare Smyth's First Solo Restaurant
Take a look at dishes from Core by Clare Smyth, the former Restaurant Gordon Ramsay chef's first solo venture.