‘I’m not a good cook’ the very humble Prue Leith talks about her life and work

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‘I’m not a good cook’ the very humble Prue Leith talks about her life and work
27th November 2014

Prue Leith CBE was born in South Africa in 1940, to a very interesting family. 

Her father was director of a chemical company that manufactured dynamite for gold mining, and her mother was one of the most famous actresses in the country.

She describes her lifestyle growing up as ‘incredibly privileged’ with servants, staff and a nanny.

She had a very happy childhood, but it was only when she got into her teens and realised how Apartheid was separating the country, that she got angry and into trouble.


Prue went on to study in South Africa but couldn’t decide which career path to go down, trying her hand at acting and painting. Ultimately, when she moved to France to learn French, something distracted her from her schooling.


Food became her life, she followed her passion to the UK where she studied cordon bleu cooking.

She then went on to start her own businesses, catering in the day and running her own restaurant in the night. This led to her winning a Michelin star, and getting very little sleep.


She became a highly successful businesswoman and brand. She humbly puts a lot of her acclaim down to the fact that she had to always use fresh vegetables as she couldn’t afford a freezer.


Her catering business Leith’s Good Food catered for the business lunches, celebrities parties and even the Royal family.  She talks about how she became a businesswoman.


Moving forward 20 years or so, Prue had founded the Leith’s School of Cookery, written 12 cookery books and her autobiography. Her brand was worth  £15 million, and she sold it all for a new adventure.


Surprisingly she found her new career in writing very similar to her last.


Always interested and active in the arts, she was made the Chair of the Royal Society of Arts, and in this role she found a new interest in one particular landmark of our city… Trafalgar Square. 


Prue Leith was London Live’s headline interview with Amol Rajan. For more similar to this see here.

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