Restaurant News

Chef Clare Smyth to give Sydney an Oncore in July

The three-Michelin-starred chef is set to open her first restaurant outside the United Kingdom.

By Yvonne C Lam
Chef Clare Smyth in the kitchen at Core, London. Photo: Food Story Media Ltd.
Chef Clare Smyth, of London's Michelin-starred Core, will open her much-anticipated restaurant in Sydney's Crown precinct in July 2021.
Oncore – originally slated to open in February – will be located on level 26 of the towering glass building in Barangaroo.
At the heart of Oncore will be a focus on local produce, weaving together Smyth's farming childhood in Northern Ireland (her father was a beef and dairy farmer) and her mod-Brit culinary sensibilities.
Core's celebrated "potato and roe", for example – a dish of slow-cooked Charlotte potato with smoked trout, herring roe and beurre blanc – will be reimagined with spuds from the NSW Southern Highlands; while the "beef and oyster", a riff on the British beef, oyster and stout pie, will feature oysters from Wapengo and Wagonga, and wagyu from New South Wales and south-east Queensland.
The "beef and oyster" with Highland wagyu beef and Porthily oysters, as served at Core. Photo: Food Story Media Ltd
"The philosophy of my food is very much inspired by the producers and the natural environment," Smyth told Gourmet Traveller in 2020. "One of the things we have now is a real connection with producers and suppliers in a way you didn't have before.
"It's really about finding someone who's passionate about what they do and then I start to create the dish, rather than the other way around. We want to follow that story all the way from the producer through to the chef. We also put a bit of our own culture and history into the food."
Oncore is Smyth's second restaurant, and her first outside the United Kingdom. It marks another milestone in the chef's career, which includes catering for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, time at Alain Ducasse's Le Louis XV in Monaco, and a head chef gig at London's Restaurant Gordon Ramsay aged 28.
Clare Smyth outside her London restaurant Core. Photo: Food Story Media Ltd
There, she became the first female chef in the United Kingdom to retain three Michelin stars before opening Core in Notting Hill in 2017, and repeating the triple-star achievement in 2021. In 2018, she was named "best female chef" by the World's 50 Best Restaurant awards, a dubious gender-specific honour she described as "strange" in her acceptance speech.
"When I was coming through kitchens there weren't very many female role models at all," Smyth told Gourmet Traveller last year. "I can see a big difference now – almost 50 per cent of my team are female and it makes for a much better and balanced work environment. But we still need to work at breaking those boundaries."
A render of the dining room at Sydney's Oncore. Photo: Supplied
The Oncore kitchen will be led by head chef Alan Stuart, a New Zealander whose CV includes Eleven Madison Park in New York, Frantzén in Stockholm, and time at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in 2012 under Smyth. Restaurant manager Michael Stoddart, formerly of Bennelong, will lead the front-of-house team. Smyth's presence at the restaurant's launch is tentative, pending COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Oncore will join a swathe of freshly minted venues in the Crown Sydney tower, including Alessandro Pavoni's a'Mare, Woodcut by Sunny and Ross Lusted, and Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's Nobu.
Oncore is set to open in July 2021 on Level 26, Crown Sydney, 1 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo, Sydney, NSW