Caroline Waldegrave

Caroline Waldegrave runs Dudwell School, a cook school set in the heart of the Mendip Hills in Somerset.

Caroline has an impressive culinary CV having learnt a great deal from Michelin-starred restaurateur and well-known television cook queen Prue Leith.

Caroline was, in fact, the founding principal, and former managing director and co-owner of Leiths School of Food and Wine, on whose board she remains. She is also the author of more than 20 cookery books – many of which were co-written with Leith – including Leith’s Cookery Bible, The Quick and Easy Cook Book for Kids and Leith’s Fish Bible. Caroline says that many of the recipes she still cooks today will be taken from the Leith’s Bible.

Trained at the world-class Le Cordon Bleu cook school, Caroline was soon taken under the wing of Prue Leith (also a former pupil). She quickly demonstrated kitchen and people skills that impressed the cookery queen and became head cook of Prue’s catering business.

When Prue set up Leiths School of Food and Wine, in 1975, Caroline was the obvious choice to help run it; she was just 23 years old. In 2000, Caroline received an OBE or her achievements in catering.

In 2013, Caroline launched Dudwell School with a purpose-built professional kitchen, at Dudwell Field Farm which is the Waldegrave family home. She is married to William Waldegrave, Baron Waldegrave of North Hill, and has four children.

Dudwell Cookery School, Somerset
Dudwell School is set in the heart of the Mendip Hills in Somerset & It is run by Caroline Waldegrave.
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Pear & Fennel Salad

By chef Caroline Waldegrave


To start, blanch the fennel in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under running cold water until completely cold. After it has been drained, pat the fennel dry with kitchen paper.

Mix together the lemon juice, oil and maple syrup. Add to the fennel, taste and season well – the lemon can make the dressing taste a little sour so extra maple syrup may be necessary.

Add the conference pears and make sure they are coated in the dressing. Then, add half of the dill and mix well. Add the cheese and mix in gently.

To serve, scatter the rocket over the base of a serving dish – pile on the salad and scatter over the remaining dill.

Ingredients for four servings:

  • 1 Large Fennel Bulb - Quartered, Cored And Sliced Very Finely
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbsp. Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tsp. Maple Syrup
  • 2 Conference Pears, Peeled, Quartered And Sliced
  • 50G Pecorino Cheese, Finely Shaved
  • 35G Rocket
  • 2 Tbsp. Freshly Chopped Dill
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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