Clare Smyth, the First Female Chef with 3 Michelin Stars

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Meet Clare Smyth - First Female Chef with 3 Michelin Stars

A Chef extraordinaire, the owner of a Michelin Star restaurant, the UK’s first female chef to run and preserve three Michelin star restaurants; Clare Smyth is no stranger to success, hard work and determination. She has been recently awarded the coveted three Michelin stars for her restaurant: Core, the biggest honour in a chef’s life and career. In a time when even the most famous restaurants have seen a downward spiral, Smyth managed to guide her restaurant to immense success. In this blog, let us uncover the success story of Clare Smyth, the World’s Best Female Chef. 

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Early Life 

Born in 1978 and brought up in rural Northern Ireland, Clare Smyth is the youngest daughter of a farmer and restaurant waitress. Smyth entered the culinary world at a young age by taking a job at a local restaurant where she learned about fine dining and creativity; it was here the desire of becoming a chef manifested, and there was no looking back. By the age of 16, Smyth began to study catering at Highbury College in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Her incredible talent, determination, and thirst for learning led to work at some of the world’s best restaurants.

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UK’s First Female Chef to Run a Michelin Star Restaurant

Image Source: The Guardian

From her humble beginnings to working with top chefs like Gordan Ramsay, Clare Smyth has been a part of different culinary establishments. Smyth’s diverse experience garnered from working at some of the best kitchens like The Fat Duck in the UK, The French Laundry in the USA and Le Louis XV in Monaco. In 2002, young Smyth became a sous chef at Gordan Ramsay’s restaurant; her steady success and talent got her a promotion in merely 5 years, and she was appointed as the Chief Patron by Gordan Ramsay, thus, winning the title of the first female chef in the UK to run a three-star Michelin restaurant. 

From 2007 to 2017, Smyth headed the Chelsea – based Ramsay Restaurant and preserved its Michelin stars across her career. Besides being one of the first women to run a Michelin restaurant, Smyth has been conferred with several accolades and awards for her contribution to the world of hospitality. In 2013, she became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), and in the same year, she was awarded the National Chef of the Year bu Good Food Guides. Her ambitious nature and sheer expertise have won her awards like Catey Awards. In 2017, she decided to venture out on her own and opened her own restaurant with her mentor, Gordon Ramsay. 

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On Working with Ramsay

Clare Smyth
Image Source: Hello! Magazine

Bursting everyone’s perception of the famous Gordan Ramsay, Clare Symth has often spoken about the camaraderie she shares with her ex-boss. The infamous British chef and TV personality, according to Clare Symth, is nothing like the person we all have seen on television! Smyth, in an interview, said that his on-screen is a fabrication, and in life, his personality is far from that person. Gordon Ramsay even supported her decision to open her own restaurant and mentored her through the process when Symth decided to leave her prestigious position at the Chelsea Restaurant.

From Sous Chef to Founding Core

Clare Smyth
Image Source: SheerLuxe

Clare Smyth’s culinary journey is truly remarkable and awe-inspiring; the formidable chef opened her restaurant in 2017 with a limited budget and immeasurable virtuosity. Under her leadership, her restaurant, called Core, has risen to extraordinary heights, winning two Michelin stars in the first year and then three Michelin stars in a short span of time and successfully adjusting to the changing world of hospitality.

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Her journey from a sous chef to a restaurant owner is not devoid of stress, yet her calm management style and positive outlook in the kitchen is truly admirable. Her dedication to her art allowed her to cater to the Royal wedding and won her the World’s Best Female Chef award. Navigating a world dominated by men, Smyth doesn’t let gender norms dictate her life or distract her from excelling in her career!

Smyth’s Signature Dish: Potato and Roe & Lamb Carrot

While most celebrated chefs work with some of the fanciest produce and exotic ingredients; Clare Symth’s star dish happens to be centred around the old good potato! An elegant and sumptuous dish called Potato and Roe celebrates and combines the two important aspects of Symth’s personality; her farming background with her fine dining etiquette! Her authentic style and signature dishes like Lamb Carrot won her the World’s Best Female Chef Award 2018! 

Source: YouTube

A Calm Leader

Clare Smyth knows the kind of pressure and chaos such an environment can bring out in people from having worked in some of the most stressful cut-throat kitchens in the world. Her management style sets her apart from others; Smyth’s quiet nature and ambition are reflected in how she commands her kitchen. She believes her job is to ensure quality food and a safe and secure environment where her colleagues can grow. 

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Hopefully, you enjoyed the remarkable journey of Clare Smyth; her quite ambitious nature and focus are definite takeaways for all those who wish to make their own mark in the world. If you enjoyed this piece and find inspiration in remarkable trendsetters, follow Leverage Edu on Facebook, Quora, Instagram and Youtube.      

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