Dimbleby (right) with his Leon Restaurants co-founder, John Vincent
Henry Richard Melville Dimbleby
May 1970 (age 49)
|Alma mater||University of Oxford|
|Occupation||Cookery writer and businessman|
|Known for||Co-founder of Leon Restaurants|
Co-founder of the Sustainable Restaurant Association
|Board member of||Leon Restaurants|
Henry Richard Melville Dimbleby MBE (born May 1970) 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. He is the son of veteran BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby.
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. Later, he attended the University of Oxford where he read Physics and Philosophy. In 1984 he played Tom Dudgeon in the TV series Swallows and Amazons Forever!
Dimbleby began his career with Michelin-starred chef, Bruno Loubet, before joining The Daily Telegraph as a food columnist. 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. Leon Restaurants was subsequently co-founded by Vincent and Dimbleby with chef Allegra McEvedy.
Dimbleby co-founded the Sustainable Restaurants Association in 2009, and The London Union, which controls some of London’s biggest street food markets.
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.
On 25 November 2015, the government's spending review confirmed that free infant school meals would be safe from national spending cuts.
Dimbleby is married to Mima, and they have three children, as of 2012, George, Johnny and Dory.
- The School Food Plan (2013)
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