Due to the coronavirus outbreak Leiths has made the difficult decision to cancel all planned courses (except our online courses) until the end of June. In these exceptional circumstances all students who have booked places on our courses will be offered the opportunity to cancel or reschedule their course. If you are currently in the process of taking a multi-part course, you will be offered new dates to complete the course later in the year. Of course we will be dealing with a high volume of calls and emails and we thank you for your understanding and patience during this unsettling time. We look forward to cooking with you at Leiths in the near future.


Advanced Wk 1: Back to the Future, a return to the 80s

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Advanced Wk 1: Back to the Future, a return to the 80s

In the first week of the final term our Diploma students have gone retro. Florence Cornish tells all.

Whenever people ask me what I will miss most about Leiths, I always say the same thing. 1. The Crocs (don’t you just love androgynous
footwear?) 2. The hat (again, what could you NOT love about it?!) 3. The people. (No joke here, just being honest).

And with the final term in full swing and June quickly coming around the corner, this question is becoming less and less hypothetical as the
weeks go on. So, better make this term count in all ways possible and what better way to start off doing so than going in fully retro. Poached whole salmon, boudin blanc and tarte tatin. Delicious, yes. 80s, OH yes.

So, first to the boudin blanc. It may seem odd to an outsider to make sausages from scratch but I’ve become very accustomed to realising that there are very few things you can’t do in a kitchen, even if you don’t have the perfect equipment. Like mash. If you don’t have a ricer, use a sieve. Or a pestle and mortar – use a rolling pin and jug. I have to say, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt that I will keep with me for life,
it’s that in dire times, you can always use a frosting bag to pipe a sausage. They said it couldn’t be done, and to be honest, it was one of
the weirder tasks I’ve found myself doing, but it can be done.

Next, the salmon. I’d been looking forward to conquering the beast of the sea for a while. Ever since I first got my copy of How To Cook,
and flicked through the pages to see this salmon, lying bare and exposed, mouth seeming to be speaking through the pages, eyes decidedly glazed over (probably because it’s wearing a form of watercress ruff) I really wanted to get my hands on it. But when the day came around, it was hard work. I mean really hard. First of all, it weighed a tonne. Well, 2.75kg to be fair, but still, a big ole fish. Second, it didn’t fit in the pan in one piece so decapitation occurred pretty swiftly. Then skinning it, pin boning and brushing away all of the brown flesh proved a delicate touch much more essential than I’d originally thought,meaning what seemed like a simple covering up the salmon with cucumber became a test in fish construction. After a tense few minutes of what felt like being in an episode of ER, the salmon show was over and we could all go and wash our whites three times to try and smell fresh again.

Like I mentioned before, we are fast approaching the end of our diploma which is REALLY SAD! But we are doing some amazing things along the way and if it carries on in the decidedly retro fashion it has done so far, what more can you ask for?

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