Clare Smyth MBE is a Northern Irish chef who was Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay from 2012–16. She became the first female British chef to hold and retain three Michelin stars. Before returning to London in 2007 as Head Chef for Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Clare worked at Le Louis XV by Alain Ducasse in Monaco. Along with winning Chef of the Year 2013, She also achieved the perfect score 10/10 in the 2015 edition of the Good Food Guide. She regularly appears on TV shows such as Masterchef and Saturday Kitchen.
While at culinary college, she served an apprenticeship at Grayshott Hall, Surrey. She left that post to work full-time at Terrance Conran’s restaurant at Michelin House, London. She followed this with a six-month period in Australia to work for a catering company, and on her return to the UK she staged at a variety of restaurants including The Waterside Inn and Gidleigh Park. She worked at the restaurant of the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, Cornwall, first as sous chef and then afterwards as head chef. While there she won the title of Young Cornish Fish Chef of the Year.
In 2002, Gordon Ramsay offered her a post at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. She went to do a stage at The French Laundry in California and Per Se in New York to gain experience in 2004. In 2007 she was announced as the new head chef of the restaurant, becoming the first female chef in the United Kingdom to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars. Of the 121 British Michelin-starred restaurants at the time of her appointment, only seven had female head chefs.
She had left Ramsay’s restaurant to work for a year and a half in Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV restaurant in Monaco, before returning once more to the UK to run the Chelsea-based restaurant. She took over from Zanoni, who was heading to Versailles to open a new Gordon Ramsay restaurant. In 2013, Smyth was named the Good Food Guide’s National Chef of the Year. Smyth was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to the hospitality industry. Most recently, Clare was awarded a perfect ten score by the Good Food Guide of the UK’s 2015.
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