Leiths Diploma: An Alternative To University And A Promising Culinary Career

If you are looking for an alternative to university or simply have a passion for food and want to make it your future, the nine month diploma from Leiths School of Food and Wine will set you on the path to a fulfilling culinary career.

The internationally renowned course offers a comprehensive training that ensures a rounded knowledge of food and wine, along with a clear sense of current industry trends, menu planning and budgeting. A pupil-to-teacher ratio of one to eight ensures that students are given all the attention they need, and Diploma graduates leave armed with the skills to join the booming food industry.

Camilla Schneideman, Managing Director and Leiths alumnus says “Every year we see an increase in students who opt for hands on training over academic study. The hike in university tuition fees is making young people stop and think. They are well aware that jobs are hard to come by, and having a practical skill in an area that you are passionate about ticks all the boxes. You can walk out of Leiths with your Diploma, and approach any of the top restaurants, catering companies or food magazines. Many of our students who graduated four weeks ago are already in work. I just heard that one has signed a contract at The River Cafe; others are cooking abroad for the summer before looking for permanent work in the Autumn”.

A life in food can take you anywhere. Leiths students have gone on to become chefs in top London restaurants including Chez Bruce and Ottolenghi. Leiths graduates, Florence Knight of Polpetto, Sam Clarke of Moro and Joe Mercer Nairne of Medlar are leading the way on the London restaurant scene, and Lorraine Pascale and Gizzi Erskine make regular appearances on our screens.

Restaurant work is just one of the careers taken up by Leiths graduates. “You could start your own catering company, or run a café,  teach, become  a food writer, work for a food company doing product or recipe development, or even become a food stylist” says Camilla. Many top food writers have a Leiths Diploma and BBC Good Food magazine offers a paid internship to a Leiths graduate every year.

Not only is this qualification well recognised in the food sector, Leiths also offers support for students in finding career opportunities or setting up their own business. “I have gained advanced food knowledge and improved my confidence in the kitchen”, says Freya Matchett who has made a strong network of friends and career contacts through Leiths List, the schools employment agency for chefs.

With career seminars and sessions on business essentials, as well as start up advice from food consultant Chris Barber on offer, entrepreneurial students are well equipped to set up on their own. Alice Palmer used the Leiths Diploma to set up her own private catering business. “I have gained a passion for cooking, confidence in my own skills and am developing my own sense of cooking and food style,” she says. “I could 100 per cent trust that the teaching and curriculum would get me to this stage”.

The Leiths Diploma offers a professional, recognised qualification in an industry that is crying out for highly skilled professionals. Ryan Vaughan is thrilled to have secured a role at Koffman's, The Berkeley, “I have gained a wide range of knowledge and skills, confidence and a lifetime career.”

The Leiths Diploma starts on Monday 29 September. To find out more, visit leiths.com. Call 020 8749 6400 to arrange a visit to the school.


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