A Sad Loss for The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts & Hospitality

Sara Jayne Stanes, chief executive of The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) died on Saturday 24th July aged 75. Known to many for a variety of roles and positions she held she will be remembered mainly for her 15 year management of RACA.

However, there was so much more to Sara Jayne Stanes than just RACA. Her influence stretched right out into hospitality in a way that is hard to measure. She was a trustee of Adopt a School and The Gold Service Scholarship as well as chairman of the Academy of Chocolate which she launched in 2005. She made chocolate a subject of her own and was, unquestionably, one of the leading experts on chocolate in the UK.

Chefs’ Forum Founder Catherine Farinha has fond memories of working with Sara Jayne and has helped orgainse events with her in the past, she said

“I was introduced to Sara Jayne by Harry Murray MBE and invited to meet with her at Lucknam Park, where he is Chairman – I felt very honoured indeed – It was like meeting The Queen of Hospitality.  Sara Jayne and I shared the passion of bridging the gap between education and industry for a better future for future generations.  We used to chat regularly, usually very early in the morning as a testament to her motivation and tireless passion for the industry.  She achieved great things and has left a wonderful legacy that will benefit generations to come.  My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time.”

The Chefs’ Forum’s Director of Education Neil Rippington is an Academician of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, he said:

“I was deeply saddened to learn of Sara Jayne’s passing. Sara Jayne was a true inspiration and a champion of education, development and issues such as sustainability. I was honoured when Sara Jayne   invited me to become an Academician of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and a member of the Education Committee. Most importantly, I enjoyed Sara Jayne’s company. We shared a love of dogs and, of course, chocolate. Sara Jayne will be deeply missed by everyone, although her legacy will continue through the great work of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.”

Brian Turner said: “Her knowledge and appreciation of food, service, wine and chocolate was second to none and her desire to see that this was passed on to future generations through Adopt a School and the Academy’s apprenticeships scheme was something to be seen.”

Gary Hunter, deputy executive principal at Capital City College Group, at Westminster Kingsway College said: “I’m deeply saddened by the news of Sara’s untimely passing. Her founding of the Chef’s Adopt a School and the drive towards the success it has become means that it is one of many legacies she has gifted to the hospitality profession. Her passion and encyclopedic passion for real chocolate prompted her to create the Academy of Chocolate and its subsequent annual awards programme, which we hosted here at Westminster College and I have many treasured memories of emotional debates and conversation with her about this very subject. Generous to a fault with her time and energy, we owe so much to Sara at Westminster for her guidance, inspiration and support. Her visionary stance on culinary education set high standards for us all to meet in the future.”

Sara Jayne will be truly missed and the hospitality industry has been paying tribute to Sara Jayne across social media, showing great love and sad loss for another industry star.