The CEO and founder of Ashburton Cooking School, has been identified among the United Kingdom’s 100 most influential females in the tourism, travel, leisure and hospitality industries.
Stella West-Harling, a leading member of the organic produce movement in the South West, has been included in the Top 100 list that was revealed at a exclusive event in London.
The list also includes prominent women such as Nigella Lawson, Prue Leith, Delia Smith, Jill Stein and Ruth Rogers.
Ms West-Harling was chosen in recognition of the huge work she has done to galvanise the various parts of the food and drink sector across Dartmoor by endorsing excellent quality, locally sourced produce and the importance of a healthy approach to life. She also received praise for her involvement in developing imaginative cookery courses at the award winning Ashburton Cookery School that she set up in 1992.
Since 2008, the Cookery School has been delivering cooking courses to many of the school cooks from across Cornwall and Devon on behalf of the School Food Trust. The Cookery School has also developed strong links with the Princes’ Trust where it seeks to encourage disadvantaged youngsters to consider develop a catering career.
Stella believes that her nomination acknowledges the relevance of this type of work with youngsters. She also feels it is essential that tomorrow’s consumers appreciate the importance of local and good healthy food: “When I was first started out, the organic food market was considered as slightly alternative; however it is now highly regarded.
Our cookery school is always keen to promote the attitudes of high quality and sustainable, locally sourced produce along with raising the standard of training quality for the next generation in the food industry of tomorrow.”