An Interview with: Leiths Junior Teachers Annie and David

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An Interview with: Leiths Junior Teachers Annie and David

​Leiths’ newest recruits Annie Evans and David Gee talk teaching, food and the importance of a silicone spatula.

As the Intermediate term of the diploma gets underway, many of our students will be contemplating a career in food and teaching, we
caught up with junior teachers Annie and David to find out more about their job and what makes them tick.

How long have you worked at leiths?

A&D: 1 year in March

Where did you work before Leiths?

D: I studied for a degree in culinary arts and hospitality management at university, which involved a combination of business management and practical cookery. I then went on to work in restaurants, including The Café Royal in Newcastle, Nutters in Rochdale and L’enclume in Cartmel.

A: After completing the Leiths Diploma in 2010, I worked for 3 months at The Fat Duck in Bray followed by Konditor and Cook. I then ran my own catering company before applying for the role of junior teacher.

What made you decide to work at Leiths?

A: Teaching did always appeal but I wanted to gain some experience first, and the regular hours are a plus.

D: It was time to make the transition from hospitality to a new challenging career in teaching.

What 3 words best describe your job?

A&D: Rewarding, fun and diverse, you deal with so many different people.

What do you enjoy most about working at Leiths?

A&D: The team!!!

What are the key skills that a junior teacher requires?

A: People skills, patience… and a great personality!

D: Food knowledge would be a given, also patience and being a good communicator.

Day to day, what does the job entail?

A&D: Our week is divided, usually into 2 days of demonstration prep for the Diploma and Saturday classes, with the rest of our time
spent teaching on the Diploma or kitchen 4 enthusiast workshops. We also make a lot of stock for use throughout the school!

How much preparation is required for a typical demonstration?

D: It varies from dem to dem but usually a full day. As each term goes on, there is more dem prep to be done and often two of us will be
working in this area.

Busy preparing for a dem

How is the atmosphere different in term 2?

A&D: It is a little bit more serious. Now that the students have bedded in, the level of organisation ramps up and some people will have
spent their Christmas break doing work experience so they will be feeling more comfortable in the kitchen. The new two term diploma
students are settling in and getting up to speed and their arrival helps to keep everyone else on their toes.

If you could offer one piece of advice to the diploma students at this stage of the year, what would it be?

A: Get as much experience as possible and don’t say no to any opportunities that come your way. Work experience throughout the year
also helps you to get the most out of the diploma.

D: At the moment, students are in a bubble. Work weekends even though it’s tiring, you will be more prepared for when you leave Leiths
and it all looks good on the CV. There is always more to learn and work experience will help you to stay on top of what is happening in the
food industry.

What is your favourite type of cuisine?

D: It depends on the time of year, what is in season and where I am eating.

A: I love Middle Eastern cooking. I went on an amazing food tour of Jerusalem a while back and was inspired by what I saw and ate. There are lots of Middle Eastern supermarkets where I live which is handy for picking up ingredients to use at home.

What did you cook or eat for dinner last night?

D: I made Middle Eastern style meatballs with rice, pickles and houmous.

A: I actually had the same breakfast and dinner yesterday… Yogurt with fruit and granola! We eat a lot during our working day so I don’t
always feel like eating a full meal in the evening.

If you could eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

D: Vietnamese Pho, it’s refreshing, healthy and tasty.

A: Something brunchy – it would involve an avocado, and scrambled eggs.

What item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?

A: A microplane is essential!

D: A decent silicone spatula

What is the best meal you have ever eaten?

D: It was on my 21st birthday at Le Coquillage in Brittany. We ate Breton seafood with views over the oyster beds in the bay of Cancale.

A: Probably at The Ledbury in Notting Hill. I can’t recall what I ate but the whole experience and service was great and the
fact it was such a treat made it memorable.

Thanks Guys! Now back to work!

Fun in dem prep!

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