Tribute to our Chief Executive, Sara Jayne Stanes

Publish Date: July 26, 2021 Posted By: Rosanna Frost

Sara Jayne Stanes, Chief Executive of both the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and the Adopt A School Trust died on Saturday 24th of July after a short illness.

After a first career in TV commercials Sara was inspired by the late Michel Roux to change her focus to food and hospitality where her determination and passion shaped the modern British hospitality industry.

As chief executive of the RACA Sara’s considerable drive achieved its principal aims including raising the standards of food, cooking and service nationally through education and training and providing career opportunities for young people joining the industry.

In her work as Chief Executive of the Adopt a School Trust, the Academy's charity that educates primary school children about food, food provenance, cooking, sustainability and offers an insight into the hospitality industry, Sara Jayne was instrumental in the education of countless children across the country since its creation in 1990.

Somehow Sara also managed to find time to be a trustee of the Gold Service Scholarship competition, which recognises young front of house professionals and to establish the Academy of Chocolate.

All who met her will have been inspired by her passion for food and food education and she will be sorely missed. Over half a million children have been educated by the AAS and generations of grateful chefs have been trained and nurtured by the RACA under her leadership.

Her many achievements included an OBE in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours and the Cateys Special Award in 2011, as well as an Honorary Doctorate at the University of West London, an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks and an Honorary Fellowship at Thames Valley University. Sara Jayne also wrote two books, Chocolate: The Definitive Guide, published in 1999, which won the Guild Food Writers' Jeremy Round Award and Best Book in the English Language in the 2000 World Cookbook Fair Awards; while Chocolate: Discovering, Exploring, Enjoying was published in 2005.

She continued working until the end and is survived by her husband Richard and Monte, their dog.