Clare Smyth, the only female chef in the U.K. to ever run a restaurant with three Michelin stars while at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, now has two more stars under her belt. Core by Clare Smyth, the chef’s first solo restaurant, earned two Michelin stars in the tire company’s 2019 guide to the U.K. and Ireland.
Although Core by Clare Smyth opened in London in 2017, it missed out on stars in last year’s Michelin guide because the August debut was too late in the year to be eligible. But given that Smyth was responsible for maintaining Restaurant Gordon Ramsay’s three stars over eight years as chef-patron, food-world obsessives expected the restaurant to earn some recognition in the guide this year. That it skipped the one-star level in its first year of eligibility is remarkable.
Since opening the relaxed fine dining restaurant in Notting Hill, Smyth has earned accolades even as Core by Clare Smyth hasn’t. In April, she won the controversial “World’s Best Female Chef” award from the people behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Her restaurant didn’t make the cut for the top 50, or even the top 100 restaurants on the list. She later told Eater London, “While my career started 20 years ago, the restaurant has only been open for 10 months. These are two very different things.” Now, Core by Clare Smyth has some prestige awards credibility of its own.
In other news from Michelin, West African-inspired fine dining restaurant Ikoyi debuts on the list with one star, making it the only starred African restaurant in the U.K. Six-month-old Shoreditch restaurant and wine bar Leroy is also a new one-star restaurant. It’s the rare casual entry into Michelin’s starred selections, which this year include a total of six new one-star restaurants.