From Student to Supper Club Success

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From Student to Supper Club Success

All photos by Jonathon Rose

Our Evening Essential Certificate allows you to train as a professional chef around your 9 to 5. Ex-student Aida Khan shares how her experience at Leiths has helped her on her way to changing London's perceptions of Pakistani cuisine.

While Aida was taught how to cook by her mother, she was taught how to eat by her father. His rules for eating have always stayed with her: “Khaana ho, acha ho, aur buhat ho.” (“There should be food, good food, and plenty of it.”)

It was in this spirit that she completed the ten week Evening Essential Certificate course at Leiths, which allowed her to apply professional techniques to her love of preparing home cooked meals.

"The course has been incredibly helpful in giving me the boost I needed to go professional with my ambition. I would never have had the confidence or skill to cook for 40 people and get service done (on time!) had it not been for the intense training I received over the ten weeks.

"I really benefited from completing work experience in a commercial kitchen, which made it so much smoother for me to put my skills to work when I finished the course. The Essential Certificate trains you to think in a very different way to how you would when cooking or entertaining at home."

Aida's expertise with Pakistani food officially goes back a few years. She scripted and presented a travel food show around Pakistan, tracing the food heritage throughout the country whilst collecting and sampling unique recipes and cooking methods specific to the region.

Perhaps it is this focus on good quality food that resonates with her and fuels her desire to bring an exceptional but casual South Asian culinary experience to London. While paying homage to her Pakistani background, Aida plans to provide clean, fresh and flavourful food the way it has traditionally been enjoyed for generations in the households of Karachi.

"I am essentially trying to change the way Pakistani food is portrayed and perceived in London. I grew up on very healthy, light food but Pakistani food in the UK is associated with stodgy curries. Our curries are not supposed to be dripping in fat or laden with cream and that's the ethos behind my cooking - I want to communicate the nostalgia I have for the food of my childhood.

"All in all, the course was a wonderful experience and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone thinking of getting into the food business whilst not having the luxury of time to spare for a full time commitment."

You can keep up to date with Aida's food business, Shola Kitchen, by following her on Instagram (@sholakitchenuk) and Facebook.


Learn a vast number of cookery skills for a professional environment without sacrificing your '9 to 5' schedule in this fast-paced ten week evening course.

If you want to follow in Aida’s footsteps and realise your foodie ambitions, take a look at the upcoming dates for the Evening Essential Certificate here. The next course starts on 6th January 2018. 

Sophie Hibbert

Author: Sophie Hibbert

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Essential Cooking Certificate: Evening Course

Essential Cooking Certificate: Evening Course

    £3270 (£400.00 deposit)

  • Sat 29 Sep - Wed 5 Dec 2018 Show session dates/times
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      10.00-15.00
    • Mon 1 Oct 2018
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 3 Oct 2018
      18.30-21.30
    • Mon 8 Oct 2018
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 10 Oct 2018
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    • Mon 15 Oct 2018
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 17 Oct 2018
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    • Mon 22 Oct 2018
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    • Wed 24 Oct 2018
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    • Sat 27 Oct 2018
      10.00-15.00
    • Mon 29 Oct 2018
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 31 Oct 2018
      18.30-21.30
    • Mon 5 Nov 2018
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 7 Nov 2018
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    • Mon 12 Nov 2018
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    • Wed 14 Nov 2018
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    • Mon 19 Nov 2018
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    • Wed 21 Nov 2018
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    • Sat 24 Nov 2018
      10.00-15.00
    • Mon 26 Nov 2018
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 28 Nov 2018
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    • Mon 3 Dec 2018
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 5 Dec 2018
      18.30-21.30
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  • Sat 5 Jan - Wed 13 Mar 2019 Show session dates/times
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    • Mon 14 Jan 2019
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 16 Jan 2019
      18.30-21.30
    • Mon 21 Jan 2019
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 23 Jan 2019
      18.30-21.30
    • Sat 26 Jan 2019
      10.00-15.00
    • Mon 28 Jan 2019
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    • Wed 30 Jan 2019
      18.30-21.30
    • Mon 4 Feb 2019
      18.30-21.30
    • Wed 6 Feb 2019
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    • Mon 11 Feb 2019
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    • Wed 13 Feb 2019
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    • Wed 20 Feb 2019
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    • Mon 25 Feb 2019
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    • Wed 27 Feb 2019
      18.30-21.30
    • Sat 2 Mar 2019
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    • Mon 4 Mar 2019
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    • Mon 11 Mar 2019
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    • Wed 13 Mar 2019
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    • Tue 16 Apr 2019
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    • Thu 25 Apr 2019
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    • Thu 2 May 2019
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    • Tue 7 May 2019
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    • Thu 9 May 2019
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    • Tue 14 May 2019
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    • Thu 16 May 2019
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    • Tue 21 May 2019
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    • Thu 23 May 2019
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    • Tue 28 May 2019
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    • Thu 30 May 2019
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    • Sat 1 Jun 2019
      10.00-15.00
    • Tue 4 Jun 2019
      18.30-21.30
    • Thu 6 Jun 2019
      18.30-21.30
    • Tue 11 Jun 2019
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    • Thu 13 Jun 2019
      18.30-21.30
    PLACES AVAILABLE - BOOK NOW

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