Claire Smith

The award-winning, ethical cook

People always associate Clare Smyth with the big names of the culinary firmament: Alain Ducasse, the Roux’ brothers, Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller, but who really is this three Michelin star cook from Northern Ireland?


Clare Smyth was born in 1978 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and grew up on a farm with her parents and two brothers. Her love for cooking was born when she was fifteen years old when she worked in a local restaurant over the summer. From there, her life changed completely. She began to travel the world between working in Michelin star kitchens until the realization of her dream; the opening of Core.

Core is her jewel, the place where she can freely express herself and her ideologies. It is the culmination of a journey made up of people and connections; as she says herself, to improve the gastronomic experience, it is not enough to produce good food; it is also necessary to establish a relationship that binds the diners to the producers. For this reason, Clare Smyth places the enhancement of her adopted land, England, at the center of her idea of cooking with the use of local and carefully selected products. Core is the result of years of studies and projects that have led it to be the perfect example of ethical and sustainable cuisine. Each ingredient comes from independent producers and farmers with whom the chef establishes a personal relationship based on trust and quality.

Beyond that, Clare is the incarnation of the combative chef woman who fought in the cage that is the world of the kitchen, where breaking that social and cultural barrier between men and women is harder than you might think. If her board is full of many awards today, it’s all because of her hard work. It still seems strange to her that, nowadays, we have to separate the category of male chefs from female chefs, just as some years ago, chef (man) Anthony Bourdain pointed out. For this reason, Clare Smyth dedicates her every conquest to that ‘protected species’ that is represented by the women of the kitchen world and encourages them to follow their dreams. She and Core are the perfect example: a marriage between determination and love for her origins, are the winning key to triumph at this challenge.

Dining in her restaurant is like sitting and admiring an artist who paints; her dishes are a palette of colors that vary according to the season and the raw materials available. French references merge with the British origins, where beurre blanc mixes with the crustaceans of the English bay of Morecambe in an explosion of taste. Because she is Clare Smyth, and her cooking goes beyond all genres and battles.

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