Stars in their own eyes

Even the famous were young once. Elaine Carlton talked to four big names about youthful ambition

Pru Leith, cook: I wanted to teach horse-riding when I was eight because I wanted a pony. But once I was 12, I wanted to be an actress because that's what my mother was.

It was only when I turned 20 that I realised I wanted to become a cook. I had had a crack at drama school, art school, a French degree and flunked out of a course in stage design. Then I went to study at the Sorbonne and discovered the magic of French cooking. Back in London I bluffed my way into the three-month advanced cookery course at the Cordon Bleu School.

I told them I had worked in a restaurant. The truth was I had worked as a waitress. Once on the course I started freelancing as a chef at catering events such as dinner parties, and that was it.

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