Allegra honed her skills by working in some of the world's top restaurants. After graduating from Cordon Bleu in 1991, she worked at the River Café and the Groucho Club before crossing the pond to run the kitchen in Robert De Niro's famous New York restaurant, Tribeca Grill as well as spending six months in San Francisco, learning the importance of sourcing. When she returned to London, she decided she was no longer interested in 'cooking posh food for posh people'. She decided that she would aim instead to produce 'the best food for the most people' which is exactly what makes Allegra the ideal chef for Economy Gastronomy. It was in the same spirit that she went on to be co-founder and culinary brains behind the multi award-winning Leon, a chain of healthy fast food restaurants that achieved her ambition to bring great food to a mass market. Her enthusiasm for cooking, unabashed opinions and championing of British produce have made her into a hugely in-demand expert in the media. Resident chef-writer for the Guardian, she also had a weekly column in ES Magazine and monthly columns in Elle and Living Etc. She has four cookbooks under her belt, including the award-winning Colour Cookbook (Kyle Cathie, 2006) and the best-selling Leon Cookbook (Conran Octopus, 2008). In 2008, she was awarded the MBE for her contribution for healthy, affordable food, and the promotion of ethical sourcing. She is also a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, as well as on TV shows Market Kitchen, Supersizers and Inside Out.