#103 Prue Leith CBE on NHS Food, Apartheid and Living Life with Purpose


On the show today we have probably one of the best known faces in the culinary industry in the UK today – Prue Leith CBE. 

Prue is probably best known for her role as a judge on The Great British Bake Off, but she has such a varied and interesting life. 

  • She grew up in apartheid South Africa and witnessed her mother struggle in her campaign against the injustice. 
  • She found her love of food and fashion in Paris
  • She’s started a successful restaurant and cookery school business
  • She’s led a campaign for contemporary sculpture to be exhibited on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square
  • She’s an author with 8 novels as well as 14 cookery books to her name
  • She adopted a child from war torn Cambodia in the 70s

And more  more recently has championed better nutrition in schools and become an advisor for the Government’s Hospital Food Review. 

A wealth of experience and at 81, there is no stopping her. Her autobiography “Relish” is a  must- read  and you must watch  her documentary with her daughter Li-Da. It’s  one of the most  touching documentaries I have ever seen.

Please enjoy my conversation with Prue, somebody  I’m privileged to call a supporter of my mission to help people eat and live better through food and also a good friend.


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What an absolute treat to be able to speak with the incredible and lovely Prue Leith on the show today.  It truly was a pleasure to be able to interview Prue and share our conversation with you all – I think you’ll agree – what a truly amazing life Prue has had and some fabulous achievements along the way.

As I say, I’m honoured to call Prue a good friend and I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as we did recording it.


Link to autobiography ‘Relish’

Link to ‘Vegetarian Kitchen’, co written with Prue’s niece, Peta Leith

Link to documentary with Prue and daughter Li-Da

Guest: Prue Leith CBE

Prue is probably best known for her role as a judge on The Great British Bake Off, but she has had a very varied and interesting life.

She has published eight novels, a memoir, Relish and 14 cookbooks. Her latest cookbook, The Vegetarian Kitchen, which she co-wrote with her niece Peta Leith, was published earlier this year. 

Prue Leith’s career has included her own restaurants, catering and cookery school businesses; she’s been a board director of companies such as British Rail, Halifax, Safeway, Whitbread, Woolworths, and Belmond (ex-Orient Express) Hotels.

Prue has had a deep involvement with education and the arts: she chaired the first of the companies charged with turning round failing state schools and was Chair of the School Food Trust, responsible for the improvement of school food and food education. She started and led the campaign for contemporary sculpture to be exhibited on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. She has been active in many charities and is the Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. She is an advisor for the Government’s Hospital Food Review.

Among her awards she has a CBE, 12 honorary degrees or fellowships from UK universities, the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the year, and her restaurant, Leith’s, won a Michelin star.

She is married with two children and four grandchildren.


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