Having recently scored a perfect 10 in the Good Food Guide as chef patron of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, chef Clare Smyth said accolades were great to motivate the team, but that she doesn't really think about them.
"When you win things - awards, accolades, it’s good for the team because it shows that people appreciate what we do every day… You think about it for about half an hour and then you get back to work to make sure you maintain standards: You can never lose focus."
She added that her appointment as chef patron at the restaurant had given her more freedom to make the venue evolve, knowing she was there for the long run. When asked what it takes to maintain three Michelin stars, she said:
"It takes tremendous focus and dedication – every day; every plate. We don’t really think about the accolades, we just try to be the best that we can every day, and continue to evolve and push forward every day. It’s not about looking at the stars or anything else, it’s just knowing where we are and that we’re doing a good job, and trying to be better every time."
Smyth named Alain Ducasse, Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsay as her inspirations, but added that the industry is full of incredible chefs.
For people starting out in the sector, she advised: "Learn your trade well – it is an actual trade. Be disciplined, learn from the best people, listen to what they say, and be loyal."