Prue Leith was born in South Africa on February 18, 1940. She grew up in Johannesburg and attended St. Mary’s School, Waverley. This was an English Independent private boarding school that was run by Anglican nuns. However, she has spent most of her adult life living in England and working predominantly in London. Leith is a famous television personality, restaurateur, caterer, businesswoman, cookery writer, and journalist. Most recently, she was a judge on ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and replaced Mary Berry who had retired from the show. Here are five more things you might not know about Prue Leith.
1. She Has Received Many Honors
Throughout her diverse career, Prue Leith has received many honors. In 1989, she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). This was followed by Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2010. In 1990, she won the Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the Year Award. Leith also has 13 honorary degrees or fellowships from universities in the UK.
2. She Has Been Married Twice
Prue Leith married Rayne Kruger, an author, in 1974. They remained married until he died in 2002 at the age of 80. The couple had two children together. Their son, Danny Kruger, is an advisor to David Cameron and a speechwriter. Their daughter, Li-Da Kruger, is a Cambodian adoptee who has become a filmmaker. Following the death of her first husband, Prue Leith met John Playfair, a retired clothes designer. The couple married in October 2016.
3. She Was a Judge on ‘The Great British Menu’
As a television personality, she is well-known for her role as a judge on ‘The Great British Menu’. This is a televised competition between professional chefs who are representing their region. They are competing to have the honor of having one of their dishes served at a special event. They each must create a starter, fish course, main course and desert that is designed around a specific theme. Leith was a judge on the show for eleven years and left in 2016.
4. She Has Written Seven Novels
Although she is a well-known writer, she is generally associated with her cookery books and the columns she writes as a food critic in national newspapers. However, Prue Leith has also written seven novels. These include ‘Sisters’, ‘A Serving of Scandal’, ‘The Food of Love: Laura’s Story’, ‘Leaving Patrick’, ‘Choral Society’, ‘A Lovesome Thing’, and ‘The Prodigal Daughter’. Leith has also published her memoirs in a book called ‘Relish’ in 2012.
5. She is Passionate About Food Education
Prue Leith is passionate about food education and has devoted much of her working life focusing on this. She founded Focus on Food which is a charity that promotes the inclusion of food education in education. Between 2007 and 2010, she was also the Chair of the School Food Trust. She is involved in many other charities that promote healthy eating and educating children about their diet, such as Baby Taste Journey, the Children’s Food Trust and Let’s Get Cooking. In her native South Africa, she founded the Prue Leith Chef’s Academy.