Clare Smyth, chef-owner of “Core by Clare Smyth” in London, has been voted as the elit® Vodka World’s Best Female Chef 2018 ahead of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Bilbao, Spain on 19 June.

The award, now in its eighth year, seeks to shine a spotlight on extraordinary talent and excellence among female chefs. Accepting the prestigious accolade, Smyth 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”.

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Smyth, who grew up on a farm in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, 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 British chef Ramsay for more than 13 years before opening her own modern fine dining restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth, in London’s Notting Hill neighbourhood, in 2017.

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Leaving Northern Ireland at the age of 16, Smyth 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. With an emphasis on natural, sustainable food sourced from the UK’s most dedicated farmers and producers, Core is an elegant but informal fine dining restaurant offering sophisticated modern British cuisine.

Smyth 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).

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The award will be presented at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao on 19 June. The star-studded evening will also see the unveiling of the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018.

Photos: Anne-Emmanuelle-Thion

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