London chef Clare Smyth strikes again

Core by Clare Smyth is 1st restaurant to win top marks in its opening year from the Good Food Guide to Britain’s best. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall took the top honour


Core by Clare Smyth today becomes the first new restaurant to score a perfect 10 since the Good Food Guide (GFG) introduced the scores for cooking in 2008. The London restaurant enters the Top 50 at No 3.

Smyth opened Core, in Notting Hill, last August and has already received several accolades. She was formerly guardian of Gordon Ramsay’s three Michelin stars at his flagship establishment in Chelsea and will now be looking to the Michelin Guide’s UK stars for 2019, which will be announced on Oct 1. There’s speculation she might go straight to two stars.

The Northern Ireland-born chef celebrates British ingredients at her informal fine-dining restaurant where her most famous dish is Potato and Roe, with dulse beurre blanc, herring and trout roe. Smyth’s signature tasting menu costs £115 (RM621) and features dishes such as Isle of Mull scallop tartar. The three-course lunch menu is £65.

Smyth (right) with fellow Notting Hill chef/restaurateur Brett Graham of the Ledbury

Smyth was named the world’s “Best Female Chef” earlier this year in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, while Core by Clare Smyth placed fourth in the UK National Restaurant Awards 2018. (Smyth previously scored 10/10 in the 2015 GFG, but that was for Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.)

Isle of Mull scallop tartar Photographer: Richard Vines/Bloomberg

Women chefs are achieving increasing prominence in the UK. Among them is Lisa Goodwin-Allen, executive chef at Northcote, in the north of England. Most of the others are London-based, including Nieves Barragán (Sabor); Ravinder Bhogal (Jikoni); Skye Gyngell (Spring); Monica Galetti (Mere); Angela Hartnett (Murano); Thomasina Miers (Wahaca); and Ruth Rogers (River Café).

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac, Cornwall, tops the Top 50 for the second year in

a row in the GFG 2019 by Waitrose & Partners, followed by L’Enclume (second) and Core, which is the top-ranked London establishment. Claude Bosi at Bibendum (sixth), Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (seventh) and Pollen Street Social (ninth) also make it into the Top 10.

“The Restaurant of the Year” award goes to A Wong, a Chinese establishment in London’s Victoria that won a Michelin star last year. “Chef of the Year” is Gareth Ward at Ynyshir restaurant in Powys, Wales. Chef to Watch is Alex Bond from Alchemilla, Nottingham.

The guide praised Outlaw’s confident cooking and his tasting menu, which it describes as “ingenious in its simplicity, yet continues to surprise”. The six-course menu costs £130 and may include dishes such as raw scallops, peas and mint; and gurnard, kohlrabi and saffron. — Bloomberg

Richard Vines is chief food critic at Bloomberg.



The Top 50 (with scores for cooking in parentheses)

  1. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (10)
  2. L’Enclume, Cumbria (10)
  3. Core by Clare Smyth (10) New
  4. Restaurant Sat Bains, Notts (9)
  5. Ynyshir, Powys (9)
  6. Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London (9)
  7. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (9)
  8. Casamia, Bristol (9)
  9. Pollen Street Social, London (9)
  10. The Fat Duck, Berkshire (8)
  11. Moor Hall, Lancashire (8)
  12. Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Tayside (8)
  13. Adam Reid at The French, Manchester (8)
  14. 14. Bohemia, Jersey (8)
  15. Le Champignon Sauvage, Glos (8)
  16. Restaurant Story, London (8)
  17. André Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire (8)
  18. The Ledbury, London (8)
  19. Fraiche, Merseyside (8)
  20. Roganic, London (8) New
  21. Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8)
  22. Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (8)
  23. 23. The Peat Inn, Fife (8)
  24. Marcus, London (8)
  25. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (8)
  26. The Kitchin, Edinburgh (7)
  27. Forest Side, Cumbria (7)
  28. A Wong, London (7) New
  29. Orwells, Oxfordshire (7)
  30. Sketch, Lecture Room & Library, London (7)
  31. Hedone, London (7)
  32. The Ritz, London (7)
  33. Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (7)
  34. The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye (7)
  35. The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7)
  36. Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, Cheshire (7) New
  37. Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan (7)
  38. Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (7)
  39. Matt Worswick at the Latymer, Surrey (7) New
  40. The Raby Hunt, Co Durham (7)
  41. The Greenhouse, London (7)
  42. The Sportsman, Kent (7)
  43. Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (7)
  44. Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (7)
  45. Lake Road Kitchen, Cumbria (7) New
  46. Adam’s, Birmingham (7)
  47. Morston Hall, Norfolk (7) New
  48. Le Gavroche, London (7)
  49. The Whitebrook, Monmouthshire (7)
  50. Hambleton Hall, Leicestershire and Rutland (7)