News & Musings

Women in Food, Fine Beverages and Hospitality

Dame Prue Leith

Congratulations to our double Dame Prue who has just received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild of Food Writers.

She will accept her award at the ceremony on June 12th where she will be feted by her peers (not necessarily literally!)

Read her short bio here

Other LDE London Dames honoured with the GFW Lifetime Achievement award are Dame Anne Willan, Dame Darina Allen and Dame Elisabeth Luard.

We are very proud of them all.

Plan Zheroes – The Zero Food Waste Heroes are a fantastic charity working hard to reduce food waste across our capital. They are like a dating agency between businesses who have surplus, good quality food and charities in need.

Since they were created, they have saved over 500+ tonnes of surplus food, which has helped create over 1 million+ meals. Join member’s of the Chapter on the 25th and 26th July 2024, as we volunteer with them, helping with a surplus food collection and then helping to create breakfasts for one of the charities involved.

You can get involved by joining on either or both dates.  On the 25th July, we will see how the surplus food arrives at Home – Oasis Hub Waterloo ( and on the 26th July, we will be helping to cook breakfast from the surplus and also organise a community fridge at the charity.

If you’d like to get involved, drop Dame Kate Howell a line or if you have any other ideas of volunteering opportunities for the Chapter, do let us know.

Dame Sheila Dillon

Another well-deserved accolade for Dame Patron Sheila Dillon.

Dame Sheila Dillon has been the recipient of many a deserved award in her time, due to her fearless food journalism over the years.  Her most recent accolade is perhaps one of her most important, as she was recognised at the prestigious Food and Drink Awards Fortnum & Mason (, winning the audio category.

The prize recognised Sheila’s work on Radio 4’s The Food Programme, with an episode that looks at what the current conflict in Gaza has done to food supplies in one of the most densely populated places on earth.  Sheila commented that although the programme was one of the hardest she has had to make, it is also studded with remarkable women.

Sheila began her career writing for the New York food magazine Food Monitor. She is known to listeners of Radio Four as presenter of The Food Programme, on which she has appeared for more than 20 years. She has been the programme’s regular presenter since 2001 and we are so proud to have her as a Dame Patron of our Chapter.

You can listen back to the winning episode here

Lucy Vincent and Queen Camilla

Dame Lucy Vincent

Here’s to Dame Lucy Vincent, who has been named as one of this year’s Inspirational Women, in a campaign supported by the Daily Mail and M&S.  Founder and CEO of Food Behind Bars, Lucy attended a Women of the World (WOW) event at Buckingham Palace in March, where she met the Queen and was able to highlight the important work she and her team are doing to campaign for change in prison food.

Lucy works tirelessly, along with Dame Natalie Middleton, to campaign for nutritious, exciting and varied food to become the norm in British prisons.

As well as celebrating Dame Lucy’s most recent accolade, the charity is currently fundraising to build a Prison Food Education Programme and roll it out nationally. Over the next 3 years, it will result in better quality food for over a quarter of the prison population. You can  help them reach their goal to make it possible by donating here Prison Food Education Programme

We couldn’t be prouder of Lucy and Natalia.

LDE London Sponsoring Alex Beighton at the School of Artisan Food

Here at LDE London, our mission is to advance and support aspiring professional women in food and beverage and we are founded on the principle of creating a supportive culture within our community through sharing knowledge; supporting our members and providing leadership, educational opportunities, and philanthropic events for the community at large.

One of the ways in which we do this is by actively encouraging and supporting women who want to enter the world of food and beverage.

This year we are thrilled to be sponsoring Ales Beighton to study for her Advanced Diploma in Artisan Baking at The School of Artisan Food.  The course is accredited by FDQ and equivalent to Foundation Degree Level and is a full-time, intensive six-month course that boasts unrivalled tuition from industry’s most recognised producers and experts. It also includes an outstanding opportunity to explore setting up an artisan business.

The course programme at The School of Artisan Food is designed to give people the opportunity to get back in touch with real, handmade food.  They not only teach practical and enjoyable ways to produce food, but also ask important questions about why food is produced in the way it is, what the alternatives are and what the future may look like.

Already, Alex has been busy covering a huge range of breads and learning about the business side of things with lessons on who to set up an artisan business.

This wonderful experience wouldn’t be possible without our sponsorship and funds raised by LDE London from our Edible London and Cork events. It is also a huge step in one woman’s career in the food industry, as Alex works towards her dream of opening her own bakery.

We are with Alex every step of the way!

Dames News

Huge congratulations to Dame Barbara Segall, who has been awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award 2023 at the Garden Media Guild Page Awards!
Celebrating the best of horticultural communications, the award is in the gift of the Garden Media Guild committee and is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession over the years.
We can certainly attest to the fact that there is nothing Barbara doesn’t know about herbs – our very own herb queen!