Clare Smyth

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Clare Smyth, MBE
Clare Smyth
Born (1978-11-28) 28 November 1978 (age 45)
EducationDunluce School Bushmills
Culinary career
Cooking styleModern British
Current restaurant(s)
  • Core by Clare Smyth 3 Michelin stars
Previous restaurant(s)
Award(s) won

Clare Smyth MBE (born 28 November 1978) is a Northern Irish chef. She is the Chef Patron of three Michelin starred Core by Clare Smyth which opened in 2017. Previously she was Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay from 2012 to 2016, won the Chef of the Year award in 2013,[1] and achieved a perfect score in the 2015 edition of the Good Food Guide.[2] Smyth has also appeared on television shows such as Masterchef[3] and Saturday Kitchen.[4] Smyth also notably catered at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 2018 wedding.[5]

In 2017, Smyth opened her first restaurant, Core, in London. It was awarded three Michelin stars in the 2021 Michelin Guide,[6][7] which made her the first Northern Irish[8] woman to have a restaurant awarded three Michelin stars.[9][10] Her second restaurant, Oncore, opened in Sydney in 2021. With Oncore gaining Three Hats honour in 2022, Smyth became the first ever female chef and second overall to gain three Michelin Stars and become a Three-Hatted Chef. The news was also mentioned when she was a guest judge in Season 15 of MasterChef Australia.[11]

Early life[edit]

Smyth grew up on a farm in County Antrim. She is the youngest of three children, of her father William, a farmer, and mother Doreen, who worked as a waitress at a local restaurant.[12]

At the age of fifteen, Smyth held a job over a holiday period at a local restaurant, inspiring her to become a chef. She left school at sixteen to study catering at Highbury College in Portsmouth, Hampshire.[12][13]

Culinary career[edit]

While at culinary college,[12] Smyth served an apprenticeship at Grayshott Hall, Surrey.[14] She left that post to work full-time at Terence Conran's restaurant at Michelin House, London. She followed this with a six-month period in Australia working for a catering company,[12] and on her return to the UK she staged at a variety of restaurants including The Waterside Inn and Gidleigh Park.[13] She worked at the restaurant of the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, Cornwall, first as sous chef and then as head chef.[12] While there, she won the title of Young Cornish Fish Chef of the Year.[15]

In 2002, Gordon Ramsay offered Smyth a post at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.[13] In 2007, she was announced as the new head chef of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay,[16] becoming the first female chef in the United Kingdom to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars.[15] Of the 121 British Michelin-starred restaurants at the time of her appointment, only seven had female head chefs.[14] She had left Ramsay's restaurant to work for a year and a half in Alain Ducasse's Le Louis XV restaurant in Monaco, before returning once more to the UK to run the Chelsea-based restaurant.[15] She took over from Simone Zanoni, who was heading to Versailles to open a new Gordon Ramsay restaurant.[15]

In 2013, Smyth was named the Good Food Guide's 'National Chef of the Year'.[1] Smyth was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to the hospitality industry.[17][18]

Smyth was awarded a perfect ten score by the Good Food Guide of the UK's 2015.[2]

She won the Chef Award at the 2016 The Catey Awards,[19] previously won by her mentor Gordon Ramsay in 2000.[20]

2016–2021: Core and Oncore[edit]

Smyth left Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in 2016 to open her first solo restaurant, Core.[21] Core opened in London's Notting Hill neighbourhood in July 2017.[22] In April 2018, Core was named Best Restaurant at the GQ Food and Drink Awards.[23]

Smyth was named the World's Best Female Chef 2018 by the World's 50 Best Restaurants.[16] In 2018, Smyth appeared as a judge in the "UK" episode of The Final Table, season 1.[citation needed]

On 1 October 2018, Core was awarded two Michelin stars in the 2019 Michelin Guide.[24] Core was awarded three Michelin stars in the 2021 Michelin Guide,[6][7] which made her the first British woman to have a restaurant awarded three Michelin stars.[9][10]

In early 2021, it was reported that Smyth would open a restaurant in Sydney, Australia.[25] Oncore, on the 26th floor of the Crown Sydney in Barangaroo opened in November 2021 with head chef Alan Stuart.[26]

A review in Bloomberg described Oncore as "Sydney's best restaurant". Due to ongoing border restrictions to prevent the transmission of Covid-19, Smyth was not able to be at the opening.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Smyth lives in Wandsworth with her husband, Grant, who works in finance.[25]


  1. ^ a b "Good Food Guide's National Chef of the Year, 2013". The Good Food Guide. Waitrose. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Gerrard, Neil (26 August 2014). "Clare Smyth scores 10/10 in Good Food Guide at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay". The Caterer. Travel Weekly Group. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Is Clare Smyth The Toughest Chef Ever?". 10 play. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Saturday Kitchen: 26/02/2011". BBC Food. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  5. ^ Chandler-Wilde, Helen (20 July 2021). "Clare Smyth: I don't know any male chef who has taken paternity leave". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Core by Clare Smyth - London: a Michelin Guide restaurant". Via Michelin. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Why you will be hearing a lot about this new London Restaurant". Vox Media. 2 August 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  8. ^ Saner, Emine. "Clare Smyth: The Irish chef with three Michelin stars – and the poshest potato ever". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Clare Smyth, UK's first female three-star Michelin winner: It's been unbelievably stressful". 29 January 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Good news stories you might have missed this week". 29 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Clare Smyth's Career Timeline". Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  12. ^ a b c d e Day, Elizabeth (16 December 2007). "She dresses food like Picasso". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  13. ^ a b c "Women chefs: Clare Smyth, Skye Gyngell, Thomasina Miers, Maria Elia, Emily Watkins". The Telegraph. 18 October 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Gordon Ramsay eats his own words". The Telegraph. 20 January 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  15. ^ a b c d Gardham, Duncan; Peterkin, Tom (27 November 2007). "Revealed: First three Michelin star female chef". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  16. ^ a b Aitkenhead, Decca (3 August 2018). "Clare Smyth, world's best female chef: 'I'm not going to stand and shout at someone. It's just not nice'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  17. ^ "No. 60534". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2013. p. 23.
  18. ^ "Top chef Smyth 'honoured' by MBE". Belfast Telegraph. 14 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Cateys 2016 winners revealed". The Caterer. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  20. ^ Group, Travel Weekly. "Catey Awards 2020 - Home Page". Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Chef Clare Smyth is leaving Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to open her own place". Vox Media. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Core by Clare Smyth - London". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  23. ^ "The winners of the GQ Food and Drink Awards 2018". British GQ. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2019 Selection". Michelin Guide. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  25. ^ a b Butter, Susannah (28 January 2021). "Clare Smyth: 'Restaurants are struggling to survive now'". Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  26. ^ Matthews, David (2 November 2021). "Barangaroo's jewel Oncore by Clare Smyth to finally open". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
  27. ^ Vercoe, Peter (16 December 2021). "At Sydney's Best New Restaurant, Reservations Are Gone in Minutes". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 18 December 2021.

External links[edit]