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London Star Clare Smyth No Longer Holds ‘World’s Best Female Chef’ Title

Eric Cantona used an egg to take the internet by storm, and more food news today

Ben McMahon/Eater London

A troubling title leaves London for New York City

World’s 50 Best Restaurants has named Daniela Soto-Innes, the trailblazing New York City chef behind Cosme and Atla, ‘World’s Best Female Chef’ for 2019. Soto-Innes succeeds London’s Clare Smyth, who won the award in 2018 after maintaining three Michelin stars at Gordon Ramsay’s flagship Restaurant Gordon Ramsay for eight years, and becoming the first British female chef to run a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the process. Her debut solo restaurant Core, in Notting Hill, has since garnered two Michelin stars of its own at the first time of asking; it did not, however, make the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list or its 51-100 runners’ up, making Smyth the world’s best female chef but not one of the world’s 100 best head chefs, by the awards’ own internal logic. Soto-Innes’ award is notable in this regard: 2017 winner Dominique Crenn, like her successor Smyth, is yet to see her now three-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco make the top 50, but Soto-Innes’ Cosme is actually on the list, at number 25. While Smyth and others suggest that the award does important work spotlighting a problem in spite of its many limitations, its persistence is matched only by the persistence of its criticism for second-classery, tokenism, and othering of female chefs’ achievements; for the absurd, gendered categorisation of greatness that reproduces inequalities in the restaurant industry; and for the fact that there is, quite simply, no ‘World’s Best Male Chef.’ [World’s 50 Best]

And in other news...

  • An investigation into how much Daenerys’ dragons really need to eat for the upcoming Battle of Winterfell on Game of Thrones. [Eater]
  • A proposed merger between supermarket titans Sainsbury’s and ASDA will not go ahead after the Competition and Markets Authority ruled it would “lessen competition at both a national and local level.” [BBC News]
  • A U.K. company is attempting to develop a process to refine the oils in spent coffee grounds, in the belief it could provide an alternative to the manifold problems with large scale palm oil production. [BBC News]
  • The salad alongside Ikea meatballs could soon come from one of its Swedish stores — the furniture giant has invested in hydroponic growing systems for lettuce in Stockholm and Helsingbörg. [Fast Company]
  • A very particular Dominos ordering loophole that slashes the price of two pizzas has captured the imagination — but it only works in a few postcodes. [Daily Mirror]
  • Quality London Turkish restaurant Skewd is launching something called The Smokehouse in Cokfosters. The dish is a riff on a Sunday roast featuring smoked wagyu beef, and a kaygana pumped with nitrogen gas to resemble a Yorkshire pudding. The drink of choice? Bottomless champagne, natch.
  • Kitchen at Holmes will open on Baker Street, offering a “diverse range of cuisine.” For now: Scottish scallop tartare with yuzu basil and green chilli; and courgette spaghetti with pistachio, basil and smoked ricotta.
  • Market Halls co-founder Simon Anderson has reflected on the challenges of opening three large-scale food halls. “The innovation of a roof” seems to help. [Big Hospitality]
  • Both famous and infamous French footballer Eric Cantona posted a now-deleted-but-still-definitely-available-if-you-really-want-to-look audio visual journey through three food emoji on Instagram. It set the internet ablaze during its short life. [Twitter]

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