Michelin awards three stars to two restaurants headed by women chefs in London

The Connaught with chef Helene Darroze and Core by Clare Smyth received the prestigious honour

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , March 5  – 2020 :-  Kids making salmon during the cooking class at the Top Chef Dubai cooking school on Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai. (Pawan Singh / The National) For Lifestyle. Story by Janice Rodrigues
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Michelin announced two new three-star restaurants in London on Monday — both led by women chefs.

The awards go to Helene Darroze at the Connaught and to Core by Clare Smyth. They are the first women in the UK to win three stars in their own right, though Smyth was the guardian of the three stars at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, where she was formerly chef patron.

"I'm thinking of all the women working in kitchens, and I want to tell them what is possible," Darroze said on receiving the award in an online event. "Just believe in yourself and anything can happen."

French-born Darroze opened her restaurant at The Connaught Hotel in 2008.

She holds two stars at her establishment in Paris.

Smyth trained under Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse, but left Ramsay to open Core in 2017.

Another notable award was a second Michelin star for A Wong, making it the first Chinese restaurant in the UK to hold two stars.

Da Terra and Restaurant Story, both in London, also were new recipients of two Michelin stars.

Seventeen restaurants were awarded new single stars.

A total of 23 restaurants also received a new green-star award for their sustainable approach to gastronomy.

The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland is being published at a time when UK restaurants are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially ordered establishments to shut March 23, and there have been two further lockdowns since then.

"Why then would we be launching a guide and awarding stars?" Michelin says.

“We want to promote the industry as much as we possibly can. We want to celebrate the many amazing restaurants in Great Britain and Ireland and all the hugely talented chefs and restaurateurs. We want to shine a light on our industry.”

Michelin said it began work on the guide in August 2019 and much had been achieved before the lockdown.

Michelin delayed publication, and this year’s guide will only be online, which allowed for late updates.

It said no shortcuts were taken and there was no change in standards.

Michelin also announced 16 new Bib Gourmand awards, including seven in London. There are a total of 126 Bib Gourmand restaurants in the new guide, recognised for offering good food at competitive prices.

Three stars are given for “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey,” Michelin says.

“Our highest award is given for the superlative cooking of chefs at the peak of their profession.”

Two stars represent “excellent cooking, worth a detour.”

One star is for “high-quality cooking, worth a stop.”

The French tyre-maker Michelin produced its first guide in 1900. It was free of charge until 1920 and was intended for chauffeurs, containing practical information, including street maps and tips on repairing tyres.