Flo Cornish

Flo Cornish

Development Chef

Graduate:
Leiths Three Term Diploma in Food and Wine

  • London
  • @florence_cornish
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Bio

Flo Cornish currently works as Senior Development Chef at the vegan meal delivery service, allplants. Since graduating from Leiths, she has also worked for London catering company Ginger Jar, headed up pastry at Ballintaggart Farm in Scotland, and written the cookbook 'Made in the USA: Classic and Contemporary American Recipes from Coast to Coast.'

Life before Leiths

Flo graduated from a degree in History and History Ideas from Goldsmiths, before taking a year out to work and travel. During this period, Flo entered a competition with River Cottage through which she won the title of the River Cottage Rising Star award for aspiring chefs. As one of the finalists, she got to go down to River Cottage which cemented her dream of pursuing chef training. Having spent some of her younger years interning and assistant styling for various fashion magazines, Flo soon realised that the fashion industry was not for her.

What attracted you to Leiths?

“The unique, and most valuable thing about Leiths, is its blending of classic training with modern sensibilities. You will gain a broad and extensive culinary knowledge, and also an understanding of how to use those to forge a career. This focus on the industry and employability side of things really drew me in – it seemed to be such a switched-on place to train. You can see this in the running of Leiths List, the job adverts posted around the school and the classes on running a food business.”

What do you love most about your job today and what are the challenges?

“Plant-based frozen food. I would say that’s the biggest challenge! Developing frozen food products is a really different way of thinking and developing a dish. It requires a lot of anticipating what could happen with all different components of the dish, both in the cooking stage and when the customer cooks the dish. We have strict nutritional guidelines which we follow too, as well as being a B Corp so working only with ethical suppliers. I describe the process like solving a Rubik’s cube – it’s a constant push and pull. But that is also why I love it. Creativity really thrives when you are faced with that kind of development task and it’s why our dishes are so unique.”

Are you still connected with other chefs from Leiths?

“Massively. I always think of the Leiths alumni network as being 50% of the pull to the school. The calibre of chefs who come out of there is astounding and they enter such a breadth of fields, you will always be connected to someone who trained at Leiths. And in addition to that, I made some of my most amazing friends there which is hugely valuable to me.”

Any advice for future grads?

"I do think that you have a real skill that most other professionals don’t, and that’s adaptability. Chefs – good chefs – are always thinking on their feet and able to adapt and work with the situation they find themselves in. Be that a supplier not sending you the right ingredient, or a piece of equipment not working, or a global pandemic! You are really skilled in that area in a way that a lot of other careers aren’t. I would use that to your greatest advantage.”