Where are they now? Amanda Parker

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Where are they now? Amanda Parker

Development Chef Amanda Parker completed the Leiths diploma in 2013 and works at new Gluten Free Bakery ‘Beyond Bread’.

Name: Amanda Parker

Year graduated: 2013

Current job title:
Gluten-free development chef at Beyond Bread Bakery

How would you describe your year on the diploma at Leiths in 3 words?

Always add salt.

Where were you working before the diploma?

I was working at Deloitte as an internal auditor and studying towards accountancy qualifications .

What made you decide to start the diploma?

Being diagnosed with a gluten intolerance made me focus on what my food contained and my love for cooking grew from there. I wanted to gain the knowledge from the course and use my new skills and expertise in creating new and tasty gluten-free products.

What were the highlights of your year at Leiths?

My highlight was winning the Asda Partnership Award, where I was given the opportunity to work at Asda Head Office as a part of the
innovation team for a year.

What was your first job or work experience following the diploma?

My first work experience was working as a private chef for a gluten-free client and his family. Myself and another Leiths student
travelled and worked in Europe and UK for the entire summer. It was very challenging but a great experience that made me more competent in the kitchen. After returning, I re-located to leeds to start my placement at Asda Head Office with the Innovation Team.

How has the diploma helped you in your current role?

The diploma has given me the foundations for being a great chef, connections and networking opportunities. I have also had the been
able to gain work experience in top Michelin star restaurants, TV cookery shows and catering companies.

How often do you use the skills you learnt at Leiths?

Everyday. My Leiths cookery bible is never too far away.

What are you cooking or eating for dinner tonight?

Tonight, I will be cooking a turkey chilli con carne with brown basmati rice and steamed kale, a great alternative for individuals who
fancy some comforting food but don’t eat red meat. I am a true believer that you are what you eat.

What is your signature dish?

Dark chocolate and cherry brownies – although gluten and dairy free, they definitely don’t compromise on taste and are always a crowd
pleaser for family and friends.

What is your favourite restaurant to eat at?

Not so much a restaurant but a small café, M1lk, in Balham is a popular spot for weekend brunch that my sister introduced me to. they
offer a great selection of artisan breads, buckwheat pancakes and gluten-free options, my favourite being the gluten-free cornbread. Make sure you get there early as there is always a queue.

What key price of advice would you offer to this years diploma students?

Be ready to learn a lot, continue to improve and work hard. Push your boundaries and gain as much and as varied work experience as


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