Notting Hill — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding chef has spoken about the Duchess’ love for food as she praised her for being ‘very tuned into the restaurant world’. Last month, Clare Smyth, who catered for the Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussex, 39 at their wedding in summer 2018, saw her Notting Hill restaurant Core going from two to three Michelin stars.
The Northern Irish chef spoke with the BBC, saying that being awarded three Michelin stars is like winning the World cup or an Olympic medal, it is the pinnacle, it’s global recognition. Smyth is the first and only female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the UK. She also revealed that Meghan is really into food, is particular about dishes and is very tuned into restaurants and what happens in our world.
On the topic of the accolade, Smyth said that there are only seven women in the world with a Michelin star. They are awarded for food, quality of ingredients, technique and personality of the chef. The chef also spoke about catering for the royal couple’s wedding reception in 2018, in a report by Daily Mail UK on February 2. According to Smyth, the royal couple approached her to do it and it was so good to be part of the day, something they will all remember forever.
Meghan has long been vocal about her passion for cooking and food, often writing about the topic for her blog The Tig which was launched in 2014. She dated celebrity chef Cory Vitiello for two years after breaking up from her first husband, with the duo splitting up months before she met Prince Harry.
The Duchess wrote the foreword to the new book produced by cooks from the Hubb Community Kitchen, an initiative based near the site of the Grenfell tower as part of her first solo project as a member of the royal family.
She came up with the idea for a book in support of those affected by the tragedy which killed 72 people, after secretly visiting the Al Manaar Muslim cultural heritage centre. The Duchess met women from the kitchen who were using recipes passed down through generations to cater for families made homeless by the fire. This was what gave her inspiration for the book.
In November 2018, Smyth joined Meghan during one visit to the kitchen, and the duo were snapped laughing together as they spoke with several of the volunteers at work. Smyth, who is originally from Northern Ireland was widely touted to get the third-star last year but missed out.
Smyth, whose dishes include Isle of Mull scallop tartare with sea vegetable consommé and Highland Wagyu beef and Porthilly oysters was hailed by judges as ‘one of Great Britain’s most gifted chefs’. The judges added: ‘It’s not just the food that makes a restaurant and, at Core, Clare Smyth really focuses on the whole experience.
‘From the moment you arrive, Clare’s superb service team puts you at ease with their warm welcome and natural pride.’
The menu at Core at Home costs £175 per person, with a minimum two-person order and features her signature dishes such as Caviar Gougere and Colchester crab tart and Rhug Estate fallow deer with celeriac and black Perigord truffle.
The chef has previously spoken out about sexism in the industry, saying it was ‘strange’ that there were still separate awards for male and female chefs.
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