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.


It is never too late

/ Categories Student stories, Behind the scenes / Author:

It is never too late

Evening essential student Kristina talks going back to basics and how it's never too late to chase your dreams.

Here I am, at 44 years of age taking an evening essential cookery course with a renowned school in London, known for churning out elite cooking supremos!

The beauty about cooking is there are no age, race or religious discriminations. It is for everyone. And so far, having been to 3 classes, I have met some lovely people age ranging from young to younger and from different parts of the world. For all of us, it is about the passion we have in cooking, then for some of us, it is a career change and for me, it is about embarking onto an exciting world in the food industry and seeing where I can best fit.

The first class we had on Saturday was intense. If you’ve never played in your kitchen before, it can be a minefield. Take the magnificent yet humble egg for example. There are skills involved when it comes to perfecting French Omelette, the fluffiest of Scrambled Eggs down to the cooking perfection of soft, medium or hard boiled eggs. We’ve all cooked eggs before but have we always done it right every time?

On the evening of Monday and Wednesday, the class were divided into groups and given our stations where we then demonstrated what we learnt on Saturday. Looking around the kitchens made me even more excited. Industrial size ovens, drawers filled with utensils and kitchen equipment, shelves filled with pots and pans and sinks big enough to bathe a baby!!

Armed with our own set of knives, we practised knife skills. Within 2 minutes, someone on our station cut herself. Not a major injury but a great reminder to the rest of us to be careful and go slow! We chopped onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, chillies, peppers, courgettes. Nothing was wasted as it all went into a stir fry! We also made shortcrust pastry which was a good arm exercise in itself. If I make pastry twice a week, my biceps would thank me. Scissoring flour and butter together with butter knives took its toll and in my head, I begged for my food processor. But you can only learn if you start old school and from the basics to understand textures, temperatures and densities.

Initially I thought the idea of going to cookery school was ludicrous. I factored my age, questioned my abilities and wondered if it was a step in the right direction. I am so glad I took the plunge! It is not that scary and it is never too late!!

My journey continues tomorrow and I cannot wait to don my chef whites and apron (not so much the hairnet and skull cap)!

Interested in seeing where our professional courses could take you? Join us for our next Open Day on 28th February.

Author: Kristina Qureshi

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