Life At Leiths
The Diploma is an intensive, full time professional course, which generally starts at 9.30am and ends between 4.30 and 5pm. This is how each day will usually unfold:
The morning session starts at 9.45 am. Your weeks alternate so that one week your day will begin with a morning demonstration; you are advised to arrive at 9.30am to be prepared for the start. The next week your day will start with a practical cookery session; you are advised to arrive by 9.15am in order to change into your chef’s whites and start organising ingredients. The morning session generally lasts until 1pm, before breaking for a quick lunch.
Assuming that the morning cooking session does not run over, you will generally have a one hour lunch break between 1pm and 2pm. You can take advantage of the student common room, remain in the demonstration room, do some research in the library or, weather permitting, sit in the local park. All the food you cook is yours to keep, so if you have a morning cookery session your lunch can consist of what you have cooked. If you have a morning demonstration,you will be tasting food at the end of the session, but might like to supplement it with food from home. There are also plenty of eating options locally. If you are cooking in the afternoon, the food cooked can be taken home to enjoy for dinner. During the Intermediate term students divide into groups of four to take their turn cooking for their students. Meaning that there will be twelve days for which you will be catered for by your fellow students.
The afternoon sessions start at 2pm. If you have a practical session in the afternoon, you will need to allow time to change and get into the kitchens early to weigh up the ingredients. The afternoon sessions run until 4.30 or 5pm. If you are making other arrangements it is important to bear in mind that the classes may not finish until after 5pm on occasions.
There will be only two earlier starts during the Intermediate term for the butchery sessions, which will begin at 9am. During the Intermediate term there are also two very early morning visits to Smithfield meat market and Billingsgate fish market.
There will be five late finishes over the course of the Diploma to complete Food Hygiene, Health and Safety and First Aid qualification which are all hosted at Leiths after school hours. These qualifications are included in your course fees and run from 5.15pm to 8.15pm. The dates for these sessions will be provided well in advance. During the Intermediate term we run a canapé party for friends and family of students in aid of charity, which takes place after the school day has finished. During the Advanced term, students take an early morning trip to vineyards in Sussex, leaving around 8am and returning around 5.30pm.