LEITHS FOUNDATION DIPLOMA: JESSE KEMPNER, WEEK 5

/ Category: Student stories / Author:

LEITHS FOUNDATION DIPLOMA: JESSE KEMPNER, WEEK 5

Students are half way through foundation term and planning their first group exercise, a buffet of epic proportions.

Okay hands down, Week 5 has just been the best week yet. Although, true, I have said this at the end of every week so far, honestly, these past 5 days will be hard to top!

It has been a week of pure indulgence. After leaving school last Friday in a heavy sugar coma, you can imagine our relief when we walked through Leiths' double doors on Monday morning, time plans in hand, ready to cook a roast dinner and full English breakfast (which, by the way, is a lot more complicated than it sounds when you only have 20 minutes!). The rest of the week, full of smoky chilli, steak, cauliflower cheese, beef stew, bread and (drum roll please) lemon meringue pie (cue angel choir chorus), just flew by, with regular intervals of classroom surfing, spoon in hand.

But the highlight of the week, which believe it or not was a day with no cooking (!!), was Thursday. Buffet day. As we spent the morning keenly learning about the health and safety, costing, portioning and menu planning involved in these 'help-your-self' jobbies, our attention was unyielding, admittedly held chiefly by what was going on behind these words of wisdom.

Although I am always amazed by the skill shown by Leiths teachers, who are not only capable of producing multiple platefuls of THE most fantastic food for us to taste every day (while under the scrutiny of 48 eagle-eyed students) but also unfaultable educators, this demo truly allowed them to outdo themselves. By 12.30pm, not only did we have pages and pages full of vital information on buffet style catering, but also a table full of beautiful salads, roasts and desserts in front of us. Our lunch of whole roasted salmon, smoked chicken noodles, Thai beef salad and chocolate roulade (just to name a few!) was served.

The second half of the day was given to us to plan our very own buffet. A very exciting exercise. It was preparation for a task which we will all embark on in a few weeks' time, involving us, in groups of 8, taking it in turns to cook for a larger group of 32, and will test us on our own creativity, team work and the skills we have learnt over this term so far. Having spoken to a few of my friends afterwards, we all agreed that it was not until we were really asked to think about it, that we realised how much we have learnt over these last weeks.

Although only just halfway through the first stage of the course, it is astonishing how much we have all grown as cooks, or dare I say chefs? The key thing I have really noticed is that, while it is amazing to be getting to grips with more complicated techniques and chefy practises, it is the small, everyday joys I now get from cooking an omelette, or dicing an onion the 'Leiths Way', that I really appreciate, and think I will forever.

Sign up to the Leiths newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest news, offers, recipes and tips from the Leiths experts. Occasionally we send information about specific courses. Help us tailor it to your interests.

I am interested in:

Close

Post me a Leiths brochure

Order our full course brochure in the post. Or download it as a PDF.

I am interested in:

Please complete the device above to help protect us from spam. Then press submit.

Thank you

We have received your request and will send a brochure to the address you have given us.

Loading course information...