Prue Leith, Founder

Prue Leith

Prue’s main interests, food, business, education and writing have led to a varied career. She is much in demand as an entertaining and amusing speaker on her career, and as a serious and knowledgeable speaker on education, the importance of good food and on women in business.

She started in catering with Leith’s Good Food, followed by Leith’s Restaurant, which won a Michelin Star, and Leith’s School of Food and Wine. The group employed 500 people when she sold it in the nineties.

She has been a food columnist for the Daily Mail, Sunday Express, the Guardian and the Daily Mirror, has written 12 cookbooks, her autobiography, Relish and six novels, the latest of which, is The Prodigal Daughter. She is currently a judge on Channel 4's My Kitchen Rules.

She has been deeply involved in food in education, starting and chairing the charity Focus on Food, which promotes cooking in the curriculum, and the Hoxton Apprentice -- a not-for-profit restaurant training the most disadvantaged long-term unemployed young people. She was the Chair of the School Food Trust, which was largely responsible for the improvement in school food. She is Patron of the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy in her native South Africa.

She has also been active in general education, chairing Ashridge Management College, 3E’s Enterprises (an education company turning round failing schools and managing academies) and the RSA (Royal Society of Arts).

Prue has been a non-executive director of British Rail, Safeway, Halifax, Woolworths, Omega and Whitbread, and is currently on the board of Belmond (formerly Orient Express Hotels) and is also a director of two start up internet companies, one delivering recipe packs of ingredients to encourage home-cooking, and one an on-line publishing company.

She received the CBE in 2010, Veuve Clicquot Business-Woman of the Year in 1990, and holds 13 honorary degrees or Fellowships from UK Universities.

Prue was nominated for the role of Chancellor of Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, given the affinity of her interests and experience with the University’s expertise in food and drink, sustainable business, and creativity and culture, and well as one of its key values of social responsibility.

She is currently writing a family saga of three novels, with the development of food from wartime rationing to organics and telly chefs as the background.

She has a son and an adopted Cambodian daughter, and three grandchildren.

You can follow Prue on Instagram here.