A day in The Life of a Leith’s Student
Taking the plunge and enrolling onto Leith’s School of Food and Wine at the start of this year, I was filled with a mix of both excitement and nerves. Their accredited professional courses have given rise to notable alumni such as former Lorraine Pascale and Gizzi Erskine, so I knew that the culinary stakes were high! Yet I was seriously up for the challenge and immersing myself in a passion for delicious, nutritious food.
Arriving at 10am, feeling a little shy, I was greeted with coffee and a smiley team of Leith’s chefs, Nutritionists, and Jennifer Irvine, Founder of the Pure package; (none other than London’s premier gourmet food delivery service). Coffee in hand, something inside of me was screaming with excitement; there I was in a room full of likeminded people, all with a shared passion for healthy food!
I was both surprised and challenged by the amount I learnt during the course, in more ways than I could have imagined. Coming from a family of proud French home cooks, I have always considered myself capable chef. Yet I dived in open minded as a ‘student of life’, which is a humbling attitude to take with even your most prized of considered talents.
Working in the Leith’s professional kitchens, experimenting with ingredients such as spirulina and seaweed spaghetti, and techniques such as sprouting and sous-vide, the course really gave me the opportunity to experiment with all of the interesting ingredients and styles I had long wished to try but had never found the confidence to!
The balance of practical and theoretical was well balanced, with lots of hands on cooking in the morning followed by an afternoon of engaging discussions about health and nutrition. The Nutritional Therapists Leith’s are so unbelievable knowledgeable, there were many afternoons of engrossing conversations, the time just flew!
I learnt techniques such as fermenting and sprouting, using the latest equipment such as the Thermomix, dehydrator, and sous-vide. Armed with such a range of ingredients and cooking techniques, really enabled me to find my own ‘voice’ in the kitchen, putting a personalized stamp onto the food I was producing. I learnt to portion control; managing food allergies and intolerances; with creative, long-term menu-planning for dietary needs.
I would really recommend the course for anyone interested in healthy food and cooking, if you’re a professional chef or enthusiastic home amateur!