Belfast Telegraph

Bushmills-born chef Clare Smyth on her crowning culinary moments

Named Best Female Chef in the World recently, Bushmills-born Clare Smyth tells Ella Walker about her crowning culinary moments

Clare Smyth
Clare Smyth

By Ella Walker

Northern Ireland-born Clare Smyth runs London restaurant Core and is perhaps most known for being named Best Female Chef at the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2018.

She's worked with Gordon Ramsay (she headed up his 3-star Michelin restaurant) and the Duchess of Sussex, whose wedding she did the private catering for.

Smyth also recently starred as a judge on global culinary Netflix competition, The Final Table.

We grilled her on her food memories...

Smyth's earliest food memory...

"I grew up on a farm and we were cooking for the family and workers from a very young age. We were all given chores, whether that was washing potatoes or helping chop onions, that was very much a part of what we did."

Her culinary high moment...

"It changes all the time. Obviously, when I was 28, I took over a 3 Michelin-starred restaurant and that was obviously something, to be the first woman to do that, that was great.

"But then I'd say, even when I left having held them for 10 years almost, you'd think, 'That was an achievement', and then now obviously Core is another thing.

"In our first year, we won 10/10 in the Good Food Guide, 5 rosettes and 2 Michelin stars - the highest rating of any restaurant that's ever opened. That's another highlight."

Her ultimate kitchen disaster...

"I have messed stuff up when I was younger. When I used to make a mistake, I was so hard on myself - I wouldn't have spoken for a couple of days. I'd take it very, very seriously. I'd be very upset if I let myself down.

"I overcooked a risotto once at Le Louis XV (in Monte Carlo) while working for Alain Ducasse. That feeling: 'Why did I do that? I'm better than that, I shouldn't have' - and then really kicking yourself.

"It's simple things like that. But I've always been very proud of being a chef and what I can do, so if you let yourself down sometimes, making mistakes is tough, but that's part of the learning, I guess."

  • The Final Table is available on Netflix now

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph