Irish woman working in London named best female chef in the world
A Co Antrim-born restaurateur working in London has been judged the best female in the world. Clare Smyth, 39, who owns Core in Notting Hill, won the Elit Vodka World’s Best Female Chef Award 2018. She was named the world’s best female chef ahead of next month’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Bilbao, Spain.
She said: “It’s an absolute honour to receive the Elit Vodka World’s Best Female Chef Award, particularly as the category is voted for by my peers and international food experts.
“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.”
She grew up on a farm in Co Antrim and 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. Clare worked with top chef Ramsay for more than 13 years before opening her own modern fine dining restaurant in Notting Hill last year.
She left Northern Ireland at the age of 16 and 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. Clare was awarded an MBE in 2013 for services to the hospitality industry.
She says she aims to create beautifully crafted dishes such as the ‘Lamb carrot’ and ‘Potato and roe’ inspired by memories from her childhood in Northern Ireland.
William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “We are proud and excited to announce Clare Smyth as this year’s World’s Best Female Chef. Her devotion to her craft, uncompromising standards and undoubted culinary finesse are just three of the reasons why she is worthy of this award.
“Clare’s passion for the industry and her positive attitude towards equality in the kitchen similarly inspires us all. She is the perfect role model to show aspiring young chefs what can be achieved with hard work, patience, dedication and exceptional talent.”
She will receive her award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao next month on 19 June.