Co Antrim chef wins World's Best Female Chef Award 2018
Co Antrim-born chef Clare Smyth has won the Elit Vodka World's Best Female Chef Award 2018.
Owner of Core by Clare Smyth in London's Notting Hill, the culinary star was awarded the accolade ahead of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Bilbao, Spain in June.
Clare is the first British woman to win the Best Female Chef award.
Accepting the prestigious accolade, 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.”
Clare, who grew up on a farm in Co Antrim, 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.
She worked with top chef Ramsay for more than 13 years before opening her own modern fine dining restaurant in London’s Notting Hill neighbourhood in 2017.
Leaving Northern Ireland at the age of 16, Clare 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, 39, was honoured with an MBE in 2013 for services to the hospitality industry.
Along with her team at Core, the chef says she aims to create beautifully crafted dishes such as the ‘Lamb carrot’ and ‘Potato and roe’, often 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.”
Clare follows in the footsteps of a series of world-renowned female chefs in holding the prestigious title, including Ana Roš in 2017; in 2016, Dominique Crenn, who will also host the inaugural 50 Best BBVA Scholarship winner at her restaurant Atelier Crenn later this year; Hélène Darroze (2015); Elena Arzak (2013) and Anne-Sophie Pic (2011).
The award will be presented at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao on June 19.
Belfast Telegraph Digital