Clare Smyth, head chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, has been named Chef of the Year by the Good Food Guide 2013.
The guide has recognised Smyth - Britain's only three-Michelin-starred female chef - for her "focused and faultless cooking" and delivering a menu featuring graceful new dishes alongside glorious classics.
Born in Northern Ireland, Smyth moved to England at 16 to become a chef before enrolling in stages under many influential chefs around the world.
In 2002, she joined Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and worked her way up the ranks to become senior sous chef. Smyth left London in 2005 to gain experience abroad and joined the kitchen at Alain Ducasse's three-Michelin-starred Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo. After returning to London and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, she was promoted to become Britain's only female head chef at a three-star restaurant in 2008.
Commenting on the award, Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of the Good Food Guide, said: "Clare Smyth and her team have been on a culinary fact-finding mission to some of the pace-setting redoubts of the nueva cocina in northern Spain, and the research has paid handsome dividends. New dishes have been developed, all stamped with a gracefully light touch and an even firmer grasp of the seasonality that is this hard-working chef's own determined signature."
Smyth added: "It is a great honour to receive this award from such a well respected and well loved guide. Of course I am supported by an amazing team of very talented and ambitious young people that makes the restaurant what it is. So a huge thank you from all of us."
The Chef of the Year award is one of eight editors' awards featured in the Good Food Guide 2013. Other awards included the Chef to Watch, which went to Dave Watts, head chef at Cotswold House; and the Wine List of the Year, which was awarded to the Michelin-starred Drake's restaurant in Ripley, Surrey.
Good Food Guide 2013 Editors' Awards
Chef of the Year Clare Smyth, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
â- Chef to Watch Dave Watts, Cotswold House, Chipping Campden
â- Best New Entry The Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market, Norfolk
â- Pub of the Year The Plough Inn, Longparish, Hampshire
â- Wine List of the Year Drake's Restaurant, Ripley, Surrey
â- Best Seafood The Seahorse, Dartmouth, Devon
â- Best Value for Money Create, Leeds
â- Best Café Food by Breda Murphy, Whalley, Lancashire
By Kerstin KÁ¼hn
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