Clare Smyth

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Clare Smyth
Born1978 (age 40–41)
County Antrim, Northern Ireland
EducationDunluce School Bushmills
Culinary career

Clare Smyth MBE (born 1978) is a Northern Irish chef. She was Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay from 2012 to 2016. She became the first female British chef to hold and retain three Michelin stars. Smyth 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 regularly appears on television shows such as Masterchef and Saturday Kitchen.

In 2017, Smyth opened her first own restaurant, Core, in London. It has been awarded two Michelin stars in the 2019 Michelin Guide.[3][4]

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.[5]

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.[5][6]


While at culinary college,[5] Smyth served an apprenticeship at Grayshott Hall, Surrey.[7] She left that post to work full-time at Terrance Conran's restaurant at Michelin House, London. She followed this with a six-month period in Australia to work for a catering company,[5] and on her return to the UK she staged at a variety of restaurants including The Waterside Inn and Gidleigh Park.[6] She worked at the restaurant of the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, Cornwall, first as sous chef and then as head chef.[5] While there, she won the title of Young Cornish Fish Chef of the Year.[8]

In 2002 Gordon Ramsay offered Smyth a post at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.[6]

Smyth did a stage at The French Laundry in California and Per Se in New York to gain experience in 2004. In 2007, she was announced as the new head chef of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, becoming the first female chef in the United Kingdom to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars.[8] Of the 121 British Michelin-starred restaurants at the time of her appointment, only seven had female head chefs.[7] 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.[8] She took over from Zanoni, who was heading to Versailles to open a new Gordon Ramsay restaurant.[8]

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.[9][10]

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, previously won by her mentor Gordon Ramsay in 2000.

Smyth left Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in 2016 to open her first own restaurant Core.[11] Her first solo venture, Core, opened in London's Notting Hill neighbourhood in July 2017.[12]

In April 2018, Core was named Best Restaurant at the GQ Food and Drink Awards.

Clare Smyth was named the World's Best Female Chef 2018 by the World's 50 Best Restaurants.

On 1 October 2018, Core was awarded two Michelin stars in the 2019 Michelin Guide.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Good Food Guide's National Chef of the Year, 2013".
  2. ^ a b Gerrard, Neil (26 August 2014). "Clare Smyth scores 10/10 in Good Food Guide at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay". The Caterer. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Why You Will Be Hearing a Lot About This New London Restaurant". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e Day, Elizabeth (16 December 2007). "She dresses food like Picasso". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Women chefs: Claire Smyth, Skye Gyngell, Thomasina Miers, Maria Elia, Emily Watkins". The Daily Telegraph. 18 October 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Gordon Ramsay eats his own words". The Daily Telegraph. 20 January 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d Gardham, Duncan; Peterkin, Tom (27 November 2007). "Revealed: First three Michelin star female chef". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  9. ^ "No. 60534". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2013. p. 23.
  10. ^ "Top chef Smyth 'honoured' by MBE".
  11. ^ "Chef Clare Smyth Is Leaving Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to Open Her Own Place". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  12. ^ "CORE by Clare Smyth - London, on OpenTable". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  13. ^

External links[edit]