Clare Smyth crowned the Best Female Chef in the world

But is this an award that should still exist?

By Jeremy Repanich 29/04/2018

Clare Smyth got started early. By the time she was 12, she was at the hotel kitchen where her mum worked. By the age of 17, she had graduated from culinary school and started working in outstanding kitchens, spending time under Gordon Ramsay before heading to work for Alain Ducasse. She took over as head chef at Gordon Ramsay's flagship restaurant in 2007 and became the first woman in the U.K. to earn three Michelin stars. When she left to open her own restaurant in London, Core by Clare Smyth, there was nothing but praise from her famously sharp-tongued boss. "It's been fantastic watching Clare develop," Ramsay told the Evening Standard. "She is undoubtedly one of the greatest chefs to have graced my kitchen." She is a great chef. Full stop. Gordon Ramsay, who Smyth trained beneath, called her 'one of the greatest chefs to have graced my kitchen'. Photo: Getty Best Female Chef in the world winner Clare Smyth. Photo: Getty Now, the organization that creates the annual World's 50 Best list has recognized her as such. Well, kind of. In an annual tradition that people from Anthony Bourdain to Eater's editor in chief Amanda Kludt have rightly derided as sexist, she wasn't named the Worlds Best Chef, she has been named the World's Best Female Chef. The title was first handed out in 2011 to Anne-Sophie Pic and has subsequently gone to Elena Arzak, Nadia Santini, Helena Rizzo, Helene Daroze, Dominique Crenn, and Ana Ros. All of these women are exceptional chefs as well. However, the problem is that they've been separated out from their fellow chefs, and given a "Best Female Chef" award when no "Best Male Chef" award exists. The award has a patronizing feel to it, as if to say "we want to acknowledge great women chefs, but don't think highly enough of them to consider them equal to their male counterparts." When Crenn won the award a few years ago, she didn't exactly receive it warmly. "This award should not exist," she told US Robb Report's sister publication Muse. "I have never thought of my cooking in terms of my gender, and I shouldn't be treated like some special case because I am a woman." However, she chose to accept the title in order to use it as a platform to advocate for women being judged on an equal footing with men. Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKqM4UnbEEs
ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Champagne Masterclass in Sydney’s Sofitel Hotel

Get your tickets to a champagne masterclass in Darling Harbour’s Sofitel

By Terry Christodoulou

08/10/2019

Nikka Coffey Malt, No, It Doesn’t Taste Like Coffee

The use of Coffey stills has resulted in a deep textured whisky that surprises.

By Demi Dalton

03/10/2019

This Iconic Wine Range Is A New Kind of Holy Water

The origins of the Grant Burge Icon range are inspired by the founder’s great-grandfather.

By Demi Dalton

02/10/2019

The $100 Tube of Toothpaste Is Here. Is It Worth It?

Whatever gets you pumped to clean your pegs should be the paste you purchase—even if it costs you a $100.

By Rachel Cormack

02/10/2019

Spring’s Sprung in Sydney with Exclusive Gin Pop-up

Roku Gin partners with Tokyo Bird and KOI Dessert Bar to create an exclusive Sakura experience.

By Demi Dalton

01/10/2019

Get the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected