QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 85 - Page 9

In conversation with Prue Leith Q MU’S HALLE LECTURE Theatre was at capacity in November for a special event with TV personality Prue Leith. The star of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ was interviewed in front of an audience of alumni, staff, students, press representatives and members of the local community. Prue, who was officially installed as Chancellor of QMU in July 2017, discussed her fascinating career as a TV personality, novelist, cookery expert and entrepreneur. She also spoke in depth about her interest in food and diet, education and the arts, and the rights of people who are near end of life. ‘In Conversation with Prue Leith’ was part of the University’s programme of public engagement work and staff were delighted to see how popular the event was with the wider community. Stan Blackley, Programme Leader and Lecturer on QMU’s MSc in Gastronomy, had the pleasure of interviewing the Chancellor. Prue Leith CBE has become a household name in recent years due to her regular appearances on TV. Up until 2016, she spent 11 years as a judge on BBC 2’s cooking contest programme ‘Great British Menu’. She recently starred on prime time TV alongside Paul Hollywood, as the new judge on the popular amateur cooking show ‘The Great British Bake Off’. The TV personality has an impressive track record as an entrepreneur, having successfully built a catering business from scratch in the 1960s which grew to become Leith’s Good Food, the party and event caterer. In 1969, she opened Leith’s , her famous Michelin starred restaurant, and, in 1975, founded Leith’s School of Food and Wine which trains professional chefs and amateur cooks. Today, Leith’s has catering contracts at the most prestigious venues, including one with the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). In more recent years, Prue has mainly worked as a novelist and journalist. She has just finished her eighth novel and an updated edition of her autobiography ‘Relish: My Life on a Plate’ has recently been published. She contributes regularly to national newspapers and magazines, such as the Spectator, writing on various topics. Go to the QMU website to read more about Prue Leith, and how her passions for business, the culinary arts and healthcare align with QMU’s flagships. www.qmu.ac.uk ❒ Prue is a big hit with the Children’s University N OVEMBER’S QUEEN MARGARET Children’s University (QMCU) graduation ceremony was extra special, as the University’s new Chancellor, Prue Leith, officiated. QMU is proud to be the first higher education institution in the east of Scotland to host the Children’s University, which aims to promote exciting and innovative learning activities outside normal school hours to children aged 5 to14. Importantly, it encourages children to become successful and confident learners and contributors. In a relatively short space of time, the project has grown significantly: over 3000 pupils in East Lothian and Midlothian have participated in QMCU activities. Prue was a big hit with the young people and their families, many of whom knew her from her recent appearance in ‘The Great British Bake- off, and she clearly enjoyed officiating at the graduation ceremony, which involved 42 pupils from 16 East and Midlothian schools. Find out more about Queen Margaret Children’s University at www.qmu.ac.uk ❒ QMYOU / University Chancellor, Prue Leith 9