Clare Smyth was acknowledged today as Michelin Female Chef 2017 during the Great Britain and Ireland award ceremony. The award, sponsored by Veuve Clicquot, saw the county Antrim native celebrated for her solid, consistent and outstanding achievements in the culinary world.
After leaving Northern Ireland at the age of 16, she worked for globally known chef Heston Blumenthal and the Roux brothers. After working in several restaurants in the UK and the United States, she eventually became chef-patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (formerly known as Royal Hospital Road).
Besides Michelin recognition, Clare led the restaurant towards a series of accolades including five AA rosettes and a perfect 10 score by The Good Food Guide.
While many would agree there is still room for improvement regarding the recognition given to female chefs, having a talented and passionate professional being celebrated for her brilliant career is both inspiring and motivating. Her award highlights how the restaurant industry is becoming more welcoming and diverse everyday.
On an interview with TheTaste a few months ago, Clare spoke about the current status of professional kitchens with optimism: “I think things have changed tremendously. Going back ten, fifteen years ago kitchens weren’t pleasant environments but now it is very very different.”