The Bocuse d'Or UK Academy has appointed chef Clare Smyth as its global chef ambassador just days after her restaurant, Core in London's Notting Hill, was awarded three Michelin stars.
Last year, Smyth was invited to be honorary president at the Bocuse d'Or European selection in Tallinn, Estonia, in October 2020.
However, due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and its impact on hospitality, Bocuse d'Or Team UK took the decision not to compete for the first time in more than 30 years.
Smyth said: "The hospitality industry needs all the support it can get right now and there is no better global platform to showcase our culinary talent than the Bocuse d'Or. With the UK no longer in the EU, now is the time not only to celebrate our chefs but our fantastic suppliers too. I am delighted to accept the position of global chef ambassador and I look forward to working with the committee to help Team UK reap the success that other countries have enjoyed."
Florent Suplisson, director of gastronomic events at GL Events Exhibitions Operations, the organiser of the contest, said: "Clare is a fantastic chef who is respected worldwide. It was a privilege to have her attend our European selection as honorary president and I'm sure that Clare will play a key role in helping Team UK on its journey to future success."
Andreas Antona, chair of the Bocuse d'Or UK Academy, added: "We are absolutely delighted that Clare has won her third Michelin star and it asserts her position among the best chefs in the world. We feel privileged to have Clare on board as we work towards securing the sponsorship, fundraising and culinary expertise we need to compete at the highest level."
The Bocuse d'Or world final is due to take place at Sirha in Lyon on 1-2 June 2021. The top 10 teams from the European selection will compete along with the top scoring countries from the 2018 Bocuse d'Or continental selections. Wild card entries are yet to be announced.
The Bocuse d'Or was founded in 1987 by the late French chef Paul Bocuse. The world final usually takes place every second January in Lyon, France, but due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the date has been delayed.
The UK has yet to reach the podium; the closest it came was in 2013 when Adam Bennett and Kristian Curtis reached fourth place.