Core is the debut restaurant of Clare Smyth, the first and only female chef to run a restaurant with three-Michelin stars in the UK. It celebrates modern fine dining – elegant and informal in relaxed surroundings with an emphasis on natural, sustainable food, sourced from the UK’s most dedicated farmers and food producers. Here we spotlight on a selection of dishes from Core menus:
The scallops are hand dived in the Isle of Mull by The Ethical Shellfish company, a husband – wife team who supply top quality scallops that are unlike any others we’ve tried.
Extra large scallops are used for this dish, and served in the shell over a bed of herbs and foliage in a beautiful wooden bowl.
A scallop velouté is made of celery, shallots and butter, as well as the skirt and muscle of the scallop, and is subtly piqued with lemongrass, fennel seeds, peppercorns and a range of other herbs and spices. The dish is garnished with seaweed dulse and sea lettuce.
To cook the scallops, they’re seasoned and then placed on a wood fired grill (made of cherry wood) and very lightly coloured, then placed in the shell over the grill.
Deceptively simple, this dish elevates the humble potato and brings it to centre stage. The Charlotte potato, hand picked from a small farm in Sussex run by a producer called Chris Hayselden, who grows only potatoes and shallots.
It is gently boiled in dulse and then served with dulse beurre blanc. It is topped with a generous helping of herring and trout roe as well as miniature handmade salt and vinegar crisps, a guilty pleasure of Clare’s. It is garnished with sorrel flower and rocket flower.
The carrot is the star of this dish, a play on the traditional Irish stew where the carrot is there to add flavour and is discarded (or enjoyed by the chef straight from the pot!) rather than being served.
This carrot is full of hearty flavours, and is a large carrot from Secretts farm in Surrey. It is served with shredded braised lamb and topped with sheep’s milk yoghurt, fine slices of pickled heritage carrots, and garnished with chervil.
The lemonade parfait is a pre-dessert at Core, and a version of it is also available to order at the bar. The creamy parfait is subtly flavoured with fresh lemon juice, and is topped with a honey and yoghurt foam made with sheep’s milk yoghurt and heather honey. A lemon honey gel and honey vinegar jelly are delicately arranged on top, and the dessert is sprinkled with bee pollen sherbet, before being topped with a perfectly formed honeycomb sugar structure. This dish is perfectly paired with a glass of Gosnell’s London Mead, which is served at the bar at core and complements the honey and yoghurt in the dish.
A little extra on Clare Smyth
Clare grew up on a farm in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Since moving to England at the age of 16, she has worked with an uncompromising devotion to her craft, training in some of the most celebrated kitchens in the world. In her time as Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Hospital Road, her many awards included 10/10 in the Good Food Guide, five AA rosettes and an MBE for services to the hospitality industry. Clare also won the Cateys Chef of the Year Award 2016 and Michelin Female Chef 2017.
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