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
by RICHARD VINES
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 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.)
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)