Prue Leith

Prue Leith

Highest Rated: Not Available

Lowest Rated: Not Available

Birthday: Feb 18, 1940

Birthplace: South Africa

Prue Leith was a British-South African restauranteur, chef, caterer, TV presenter, journalist, and novelist who enjoyed a wildly accomplished career in the world of cooking, from opening a Michelin-starred restaurant, to starting two highly accredited culinary schools, from publishing a number of best-selling cookbooks and novels, to finally becoming a judge on one of the most popular cooking competition shows of all time. Born on February 18, 1940 in Cape Town, South Africa, Leith was the only daughter of Sam Leith, an executive for a company that produced dynamite for mining operations, and Margaret 'Peggy' Inglis, South Africa's most famous actress in that day and age. She attended St. Mary's School, Waverley, a very exclusive English boarding school in Johannesburg run by Anglican nuns, before moving on to Capetown University. While at college, Leith struggled to figure out what she wanted to do with her life, switching her major multiple times, from drama to fine art to architecture and finally to French. Her interest in the latter subject lead her to study at the Sorbonne in Paris, where she realized her real passion lie in the culinary arts. In 1960, Leith began classes at the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London, before starting a party and event catering company. This would soon grow into her first business venture, Leith's Good Food, and she soon became renowned for supplying business lunches to London's upper crust. Before long, Leith wanted a place to call her own, so in 1969, in the posh Notting Hill neighborhood of London, she opened her first restaurant, Leith's. It was a resounding success, earning Michelin stars, rave reviews, and turning her into a genuine foodie phenomenon in the UK. She was an in demand food columnist, reviewing restaurants and opining on culinary trends for the likes of the Daily Mail, the Sunday Express, the Guardian, and the Daily Mirror. In 1974, she married author Rayne Krueger; they would go on to adopt a daughter, Li-Do, from Cambodia, and later give birth to a son, Danny. The next year, Leith founded Leith's School of Food and Wine, providing training for professional chefs and aspiring cooks alike. Leith also developed a passion for writing, and would go on to publish several novels. In 1991, Leith published her most famous cookbook, "Leith's Cookery Bible." The early nineties would come to represent a period of change for Leith: in 1993, she sold Leith's School of Food and Wine, having turned a profit of £15m. Two years later, just as she was returning to South Africa to open a new culinary school, the Prue Leith Chef's Academy, she sold Leith's, her first restaurant, to a group of investors. The early 2000s would prove to be a trying time: in 2002, her husband Rayne Kruger passed away at the age of 80. The pair had been married for 28 years. Leith largely avoided the spotlight during this time, until she became a judge on the competition show "The Great British Menu" (BBC Two, 2006), a gig she would hold on to for nearly eleven years. In 2012, Leith published her memoir, "Relish." Then, in 2016, at the age of 76, Leith had one of her biggest years ever: she surprised her fans by getting remarried, tying the knot with fashion designer John Playfair. Then, it was announced that Leith would be taking over for fellow culinary titan Mary Berry as judge on one of the biggest cooking competition shows in the world, "The Great British Bake Off" (BBC One/Channel Four, 2010-), when the show made its controversial move from BBC One to Channel Four. in addition to her TV hosting gig, she was installed as Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, in July of 2017.

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Filmography

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Great Celebrity Bake Off: Stand Up To Cancer Judge 2021-2022
No Score Yet 98% The Great British Baking Show: Holidays Judge 2018-2021
88% 91% The Great British Baking Show Judge,
Host
2017-2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cook Clever, Waste Less with Prue and Rupy Host 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet Junior Baking Show Judge 2019-2021
No Score Yet 100% QI Guest 2020
No Score Yet No Score Yet Great British Menu Judge 2011 2013 2015-2016