#MadeAtLeiths: Kate Henry on overcoming imposter syndrome and finding her authenticity

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#MadeAtLeiths: Kate Henry on overcoming imposter syndrome and finding her authenticity

Appearing on The Great British Bake Off was an experience that changed her life forever. Leiths alumni Kate Henry, has forged a successful career as a private/personal fine dining chef and cookery teacher who creates unique fine dining experiences for her clients.

After appearing on The Great British Bake Off, I began to suffer from imposter syndrome.

I was regularly asked to write recipes, appear at food festivals, run huge cooking demonstrations and teach classes.

People seemed to expect that I could just do all this even though my cooking, up until then had been restricted to my kitchen at home - apart from 10 weeks in a tent! - It was a giant leap and although I did it, I never felt as though my knowledge was quite enough.

I made the decision to embrace this new foodie life, but what I really needed was some authenticity.

I began some very thorough research and after traipsing around the UK visiting the best professional cookery courses, I was won over by Leiths Professional Chefs Diploma in Food and Wine.

It was quite a commitment juggling caring for my daughter and commuting to London from Brighton every day, but I was determined to make the most of this intense learning experience. It was so worth it.

I found it hugely exhilarating to be back in a learning environment. What a gift to be surrounded by truly talented chefs who teach patiently and expertly, knowing just how far to push you to really get the best out of you every single day.

Once I qualified, I got to work setting myself up as a private chef. I combined this with working with other Leiths’ chefs in supporting each other in our new ventures and I also gained some experience in some top restaurants around the UK. Having been to Leiths opens up lots of doors.

I now work as a private chef, catering for high-end gourmet events from private intimate dinners to canapés for large parties and weddings. I combine this with a deep interest in special diets and I have a few clients that I cook for providing beautiful everyday food that caters for even the most complex food intolerances and allergies.

I still teach too, but this time I feel I have the skills to do it right. I love my job. It’s wonderful to have found my thing.

The food industry offers so many opportunities. Every year that passes brings another element to my work. For the past couple of years I’ve been working on a chocolate and coconut bar that’s about to go to manufacture. It’s sweet and indulgent but with no sugar, it’s a very special product that’s about to keep me very, very busy.

I no longer have imposter syndrome. Completing the Leiths pro chef course has equipped me to work authentically within all areas of the food world. I’m so proud to say I’m a chef and I could only have done it with the help of Leiths.

You can follow Kate's adventures on:


If you dream of a career in food, come along to our friendly open evening on 5th June, 2019.

As well as our full-time Diploma, we offer a range of flexible evening and online courses in everything from Nutrition, our Essential Cooking Certificate, Food Styling, WSET Level 1: Award in Wines to starting a food business.

Share your Leiths memories using the #MadeAtLeiths hashtag.

Author: Pamela Daniels

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