Henry Dimbleby

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Henry Dimbleby
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Dimbleby (right) with his Leon Restaurants co-founder, John Vincent
Henry Richard Melville Dimbleby

May 1970 (age 49)
EducationEton College
Alma materUniversity of Oxford
OccupationCookery writer and businessman
Known forCo-founder of Leon Restaurants
Co-founder of the Sustainable Restaurant Association
Board member ofLeon Restaurants
Parent(s)David Dimbleby
Josceline Dimbleby
RelativesDimbleby family

Henry Richard Melville Dimbleby MBE (born May 1970)[1] is a British businessman and cookery writer who is a co-founder of Leon Restaurants and the Sustainable Restaurant Association. He was appointed lead non-executive board member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in March 2018.[2] He is the son of veteran BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby.

Early life[edit]

Dimbleby was born to David Dimbleby and his cookery writer wife, Josceline Dimbleby in May 1970. His sister Kate Dimbleby is a cabaret singer. He was educated at Eton College, where he was a Newcastle scholar and a contemporary of Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.[3] Later, he attended the University of Oxford where he read Physics and Philosophy.[4] In 1984 he played Tom Dudgeon in the TV series Swallows and Amazons Forever![5]


Dimbleby began his career with Michelin-starred chef, Bruno Loubet, before joining The Daily Telegraph as a food columnist.[6] He then worked for management consultants Bain & Co for seven years from 1995 to 2002. During his time there, he met John Vincent, and together they formulated the idea of Leon Restaurants.[7] Leon Restaurants was subsequently co-founded by Vincent and Dimbleby with chef Allegra McEvedy.[8][9][10][11]

Dimbleby co-founded the Sustainable Restaurants Association in 2009, and The London Union, which controls some of London’s biggest street food markets.

Dimbleby is a regular cookery columnist for The Guardian,[12] and has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet and BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen.


In 2013, Dimbleby and John Vincent were invited to write a report on school meals. The pair instead created a collaboration and co-authored the Government backed School Food Plan, which set out to transform what children eat in schools and how they learn about food.

Vincent and Dimbleby visited over 60 schools, eating as many school meals as they could and speaking to everyone involved, from headteachers to caterers and – most importantly – the children. They found that, while some of the best schools were great at weaving food education into school life, there was still a lot of work to be done. At the time, 57% of children weren't eating school meals at all, and only 1% of packed lunches met the nutritional standards that apply to school food.

The plan they created contains 17 separate and detailed recommendations on what should be done. As a result of the plan, the government now provides free school lunches to all infants in years Reception, 1 & 2. In addition, practical cooking and nutrition is now part of the National Curriculum for 4–14-year olds, and two major food flagships have been launched across Lambeth and Croydon.[13][14]

In 2015, Vincent and Dimbleby were appointed MBEs for their work on the School Food Plan.[15]

On 25 November 2015, the government's spending review confirmed that free infant school meals would be safe from national spending cuts.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Dimbleby is married to Mima, and they have three children, as of 2012,[17] George, Johnny and Dory.


  • The School Food Plan (2013)


  1. ^ "LEON RESTAURANTS LIMITED - Officers (free information from Companies House)". Beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Henry Dimbleby - GOV.UK". gov.uk. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  3. ^ Hughes, Laura (18 December 2015). "Video: Jacob Rees-Mogg takes down David Dimbleby after attempts to mock his Eton education". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  4. ^ Denham, Annabel (9 June 2014). "http://www.cityam.com/article/1402286371/kings-leon". City AM. Retrieved 23 July 2016. External link in |title= (help)
  5. ^ Henry Dimbleby on IMDb
  6. ^ "Henry Dimbleby". NOEL GAY. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  7. ^ "JavaScript is disabled in your browser". Thecaterer.com. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  8. ^ Evans, Simon (16 August 2009). "Henry Dimbleby: nine restaurants and growing". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  9. ^ "John Vincent, co-founder, Leon Restaurants". Marketing. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  10. ^ Bordell, Tom; Jaffer, Mehdi. "If God owned McDonald's..." London: The Gateway. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Food chefs: Allegra McEvedy". London: BBC website. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  12. ^ "Henry Dimbleby". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  13. ^ Bremner, Myles. "School Food Plan". schoolfoodplan.com. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  14. ^ Ping, Andrew. "Free school meals for infants hailed by clegg". publicfinance.co.uk. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  15. ^ reporter, Judith Burns Education. "MBE honour for school food plan restaurateurs". BBC News. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  16. ^ Treanor, Jill; Mason, Rowena. "Autumn statement and spending review – the key points at a glance". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  17. ^ Henry Dimbleby (1 March 2012). "Henry Dimbleby's Diary | London Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2017.