Who we are
Women in Food, Fine Beverages and Hospitality
The members of LDE London are highly respected and leaders within their industries. They represent a wide range of the diverse world of food, fine beverages and hospitality: chefs and restaurateurs, caterers, authors and publishers, press and trade journalists, restaurant and brand publicists, educators, demonstrators, chocolatiers, recipe developers, restaurant consultants, makers and importers of wine, fine spirits or craft beer, wine educators, and food producers.
Membership is by invitation and the criteria and process for joining are listed here.
2016-17 Board of Directors
30+ years experience in the food industry, initially training in France and at Le Gavroche, London. Varied roles within Roux Restaurants led to starting her own outside catering company in 1986, primarily based in London and then in event management worldwide. Followed by consultancy work for supermarkets, production companies and fast food operations focusing on product development and training. Remains active as a private chef, teacher and event planner.
Anne Dolamore is the cookery book publisher at Grub Street. Former Chair of the Guild of Food Writers, a trustee of Sustain, and a member of IACP. The author of two books on olive oil and has written on food for many magazines, and appeared on TV and radio. http://www.grubstreet.co.uk
Spent many years in wine retail in Austin, Texas as co-owner and founder of The Cellar. Before returning to the UK in 2009 she was closely associated with the local wine and food festival, spending the last 3 years as Director. A member of LDE Austin, she resolved to bring the organization to Great Britain, and helped to found the London chapter in 2010. She has been the life force behind the continuation of the chapter.
A noted authority on all aspects of Italian food and wine. One of a large Anglo Italian family, her early years were spent in Rome before moving to London in 1976 and launching her career in food as a private chef. She has written numerous books on Italian food and is also a TV and radio personality, an established and sought-after teacher at many cookery schools, curator of cookery theatres at several food festivals and runs residential cookery courses in Italy.
Owner/founder of Rococo Chocolates, one of the UK’s first artisanal chocolate shops. Awarded an OBE for services to chocolate. Established Grococo in Grenada to produce fair trade ethical cocoa.
Graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, established Rachel’s Kitchen Cookery School in 2010.
Runner up ‘Best Cookery School Tutor’ in the UK Cookery School of the Year Award 2012.
Sheila is a journalist with almost three decades working in the food and hospitality industry. For 20 years she has worked on the BBC’s The Food Programme, first as reporter, then producer and now presenter. One of Sheila’s crowning achievements during her tenure is the Food and Farming Awards which launched in 2000.
In January 2008 Sheila was awarded an honorary doctorate by City University for her work which, the citation says, “has changed the way in which we think about food.”
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Heather Holden Browne
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Chef and restaurateur Stagolees, London. Former Sous Chef at The Rainbow Room in New York and work in the kitchens of Tom Aikens and Rob Aikens.
(Chair, Events Committee)
Studied night school at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York. Worked as an intern promoted to pastry cook at the Michelin-starred Aquavit. Freelance pastry chef in London.
Julia Platt Leonard
A writer and marketing & food consultant. She writes for the Independent online and food blogs including The Chile Trail. She hosts events with leading food writers and chefs at Soho House, the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Octopus publishing and others. A graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Boston, MA, she worked in restaurants and catering before moving to London almost 20 years ago. She created the popular Culinary Salon programme at leading cookware and kitchen shop Divertimenti and is the author of Cold Case, a children’s mystery set in a restaurant.
Founder and CEO of Doves Farm, specialist cereal grower and mill. A Director of Slow Food UK, Director of Bucks Berks & Oxon Food Group CIC & Honorary Life Member of the Soil Association.
Marketing Director, Café Spice Namaste; marketing communications consultant and writer. Member of Worshipful Company of Marketors and IOD. Visiting lecturer Eshotel Paris/London.
Sara Danesin Medio
Masterchef Finalist in 2011, Sara is now a well-known chef, teacher and food consultant. Her cooking reflects both her heritage – she is from Italy – and the wonderful produce available in the UK. Sara’s ethos is simplicity using just a handful of ingredients – values she shares in her teaching as well as her cooking.
Sara has recently relocated to London from York, although she still returns there for her supper club dinners – Sara@St.John’s – regularly filling her home with willing diners.
Co-owner of Eclectic Wines, a specialist Importer of Greek wines. The sole supplier of Greek Wines to the Wine Society, and supplies most major retailers and independent stores.
Founder of Giselda’s Food, focussed on clean eating and wellbeing. Her Southeast Asian Private Catering and cooking lessons use locally sourced ingredients with a delicious nutritional twist.
A career in the promotion and support of quality food and drink production. Special Projects Manager, Scotland Food & Drink.
Alison Swan Parente
Alison studied social anthropology at the London School of Economics in the 1960s. She then did a child psychotherapy training and worked for 4 years at Rutgers Medical School in the USA, coming back to the UK in the late 70s and working full time in the NHS.
Born in Newcastle, Anne received her master’s degree from Cambridge University, then studied and taught cooking in London and Paris before moving to the United States, becoming a citizen in 1973.
She founded École de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris in 1975.