About Prue Leith and the Academy of the Same Name
Prue Leith has occupied many challenging roles, as her numerous fields of expertise illustrate. She’s a Michelin starred restaurateur, renowned chef, one time caterer, columnist, prolific writer of cookery books, novelist, entrepreneur, founder of various charities, television presenter and esteemed judge of professional cookery competitions.
As if that weren’t enough already, add to the extensive list of accomplishments a successful businesswoman, wife and mother, holder of eleven honorary university degrees, Commander of the British Empire since 2010, celebrity figure, and we’re proud to say – the patron of our prestigious chefs’ academy in Johannesburg.
Moreover, hers is a household name in most English speaking countries, but who is she? There’s only one correct answer. This lady is Prudence Margaret Leith CBE, more commonly and fondly known as “Prue” – the name which headlines and graces that of our cookery school – Prue Leith Chefs Academy, South Africa’s leading professional culinary training institute.
Ties with South Africa
It’s almost impossible to believe that one person has excelled in as many professional fields as has our Prue, who despite such a busy life with so many demands on her time, still remains close to us here in South Africa at the academy which bears her name.
Prue visits us every year, while we consult her when considering new innovations, major curriculum changes and strategic decisions. Her input continues to be invaluable, while we constantly strive to keep our curricula and students on the cutting edge of international culinary art.
Born in South Africa, Prue pursued her chef’s career in London. By her own admission, she learned to eat in Paris – very fitting, because true culinary arts are based on traditional, classic French techniques. Thereafter, says Prue, she learned to cook in London.
About Prue Leith Group and Academy
In 1996, four SA boutique hotel owners and senior managers got together and founded the Prue Leith Group for the purpose of training professional chefs of excellence locally.
Previously, recruiting chefs from afar and abroad (when the right candidate couldn’t be sourced locally), often proved to be an unsuitable practice, a fact which only became apparent after some time, once the person had arrived and commenced their duties, when it was somewhat “too late” in the process.
It would be preferable to channel professional chefs who trained locally into the industry’s dining establishments, providing that their standard of training was world class. The four forward thinking entrepreneurs needed an instantly recognisable and highly credible name for their school, so they approached Prue with their business plan and concept, which she loved.
Our close association was born. The school was established and given Prue Leith’s name – the very first time she allowed such use by a third party.
Today, amongst our peers and professional practitioners in our industry, we’re regularly rated as the finest training institute of its kind within the country. To boot, many of them insist upon interviewing our graduates only when they have a vacancy in their kitchens – a fact which benefits both their restaurants and our competent graduates.
Enduring and On-going
Despite a virtual lifetime of outstanding achievements, Prue Leith shows no signs of slowing down and taking it easy; thankfully, nor does our academy, which continues to go and grow from strength to strength, as do Prue Leith Chefs Academy’s qualified, confident graduates.