#MadeAtLeiths: Rebecca Woollard on climbing the ranks

/ Categories Alumni, #MadeAtLeiths / Author:

#MadeAtLeiths: Rebecca Woollard on climbing the ranks

Rebecca Woollard, studied English at Leeds University, but realised she wanted a career in food after working the ski season in a chalet and discovering that her favourite aspect of the job was the cooking. As part of our #MadeAtLeiths series, Rebecca Woollard, food editor, writer, teacher and stylist, shares her Leiths journey.

After winning the BBC Good Food Magazine Award at Leiths, Rebecca climbed the ranks of the food writing world to become Food Editor for roles at Woman&Home, Delicious magazine and now Slimming World.

Prior to doing the diploma at Leiths, I did temporary work as an events chef, following on from two ski seasons cooking in chalets.

I wanted a practical grounding in cookery, with a qualification at the end of it. Leiths syllabus was most suited to me, and it had the bonus of having the BBC Good Food Award, which I wanted to apply for as I was keen to get into food writing.

There were many highlights at my time at the school which I found enlightening, inspiring and hilarious; such as discovering that science when combined with cookery was both fascinating and incredibly useful. I was able to experience cooking things I'd never cooked before (and some I haven't cooked since…), and for the first time being really excited about getting up in the morning to go about learning new skills.

I was one of the winners of the BBC Good Food award, so I went straight to work there for six months, followed by three and a half years at Woman&Home, then delicious. Magazine and then Food Editor at Slimming World.

If you look around the food writing world, a huge majority have gone to Leiths – it's an immediate way to tell if someone is going to have the practical and theoretical knowledge necessary to be able to create and test recipes. That's not to say it's all that's needed – but I've found it to be a huge help and I genuinely don't think my career would have followed the same path had I not won the Good Food award.

My experience with such prestigious magazines has given me a unique outlook on food writing. Every day I use my Leiths skills and hope to contribute to other exciting projects as well as perhaps writing some recipe books at one point.

My Leiths training still helps me to deliver work my clients love. When you’re developing recipes for a food magazine you need to give your readers something new, but you also need to know how far you can push it before a cake won’t work or a dough won’t rise.

The great thing about going to Leiths is that you're taught the science behind all this, so you know how to prevent mistakes from happening.

Following the birth of my son I have become a freelancer. It’s the best way to achieve the all-important balance between a career I love and being a mum.

My philosophy and advice to anyone thinking of studying to work in food is to go for every opportunity it affords you, work hard, and get used to washing up – there's always a mountain of it wherever there's food!


If you would like to learn how to creating beautiful images for your Instagram feed or are looking for a career change, Rebecca’s Two Day Food Styling Course taught with Jayne Cross, which gives you a chance to flex your creative muscles leading up to professional photoshoot of your very own styled plate, for you to keep or use as a basis to start a portfolio.

If you dream of a career in food, come along to our friendly Open Evening on 5th June.

At Leiths, there are dozens of routes to your dream career, from our Food Styling Course to our Recipe Writing classes to Nutrition in Culinary Practice or our full Diploma.

Share your Leiths memories using the #MadeAtLeiths hashtag.

Author: Pamela Daniels

You might also be interested in...


Loading course information...