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The chef who catered Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding reception has made history by becoming the first woman to win three Michelin stars at her own restaurant.
Clare Smyth was chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018 for their Frogmore House reception. She also appeared with the duchess at a later date as she worked with the survivors of the Grenfell fire on a charity cookbook.
Smyth opened Core by Clare Smyth in London’s Notting Hill in 2017 and won two stars as a new entry to the Michelin guide in 2019.
The Northern Irish chef also received the World’s Best Female Chef Award from the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Speaking at the online ceremony for her third star, the Guardian reported Smyth said: “It’s been my dream to achieve this level but I never imagined it could happen…
“Core opened three years ago and it was my passion since I was 16 years old. For the future, I hope young chefs – both male and female – have the chance to own a restaurant and achieve success. It’s an important message for now [given coronavirus].”
Core has pivoted to box deliveries during the pandemic, as restaurants have been forced to close their doors at various points in the last year.
A meal for two costs £175 with optional extras available to add on as well.
Sharing the news of the three stars in an Instagram post, Smyth said: “Thank you @michelinguide for recognising our hard work particularly during such a tough time and huge thanks to my team for all their dedication and hard work.
“We couldn’t have done it without our amazing farmers and suppliers, our guests and everyone who has been on the journey with us!”
Back in 2018, Smyth reflected on the process of working with the royals on their wedding menu, telling Hello!: “They were involved in the menu. It was very important to them. Obviously a wedding is very important to you and personal, it's a once in a lifetime thing so it was nice to be a part in it.”
Announcing the awarding of three Michelin stars, the Michelin guide wrote: “Clare is one of Great Britain’s most gifted chefs and the strength of her kitchen lies in its ability to create modern dishes that deliver superb flavours and textures but in a restrained, understated style.
“Elegance, unfussiness and a wonderful purity are her hallmarks and the resultant dishes are unrivalled in their sophistication.
“Not one to take her success for granted, she constantly refines even her most well-established dishes, and the terrific wine flights bring it all together to enhance an already outstanding experience.”
The guide named one of Smyth’s desserts among their favourite dishes on her menu, describing the Core-teaser as a “hazelnut mousse core encased in a delicate chocolate shell and is topped with a malt-flavoured creation akin to candy floss, which crunches in the mouth before melting away”.
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