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#MADEATLEITHS: Tassy Goodall on turning a passion into a full-time career

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#MADEATLEITHS: Tassy Goodall on turning a passion into a full-time career

As part of our #MadeAtLeiths series, Tassy Goodall, Sainsbury's Product Development Chef, shares her Leiths journey and exciting career story since graduating.

Before enrolling at Leiths in 2015, I was studying English with Art History at the University of Nottingham. Despite enjoying my course, my three years at university wasn’t a particularly happy time, and as a way to unwind I found myself spending any spare hours obsessively cooking and baking. In 2013 I started a baking blog and really enjoyed testing recipes, taking photos and writing about food. It was then that I realised it was a passion I’d like to pursue in a professional capacity, and in 2014 gained work experience with BBC Good Food which cemented that idea further.

I started to look into cookery schools towards the end of 2014, and Leiths had been recommended to me by the food writers and assistants I’d met at Good Food. With further research I knew Leiths was for me; it offered comprehensive classical training in every area of cookery, which was important as I wanted to come out as a well-rounded chef. An added bonus was that Leiths hosted brilliant lectures from some truly inspiring chefs in the industry. Looking at the alumni before I enrolled, it was also clear that the job opportunities post-Leiths could be varied and exciting e.g. food writer, restaurateur, food stylist.

I completed the three term diploma (2015-16) and it was most definitely the best decision I ever made. The dedication of the teachers (shout out to Phil for his teaching and sense of humour) made it, and as someone who went in with very little self-confidence I left with lots of ambition for my future career. Having said that, not everything went smoothly and there were of course mishaps; most memorably forgetting to put sugar in my Victoria sponge in the first term (excruciatingly embarrassing what with the baking blog); Phil and I agreed that the result was ‘depressingly bland.'

Straight after Leiths I worked for a social media company creating food videos, and did some part-time private chef work via. Leiths List. I then worked full time as a restaurant chef; I loved that role and was able to creatively input into a seasonal menu and work with brilliant home grown produce. After a year, however, I was keen to get involved in more writing and in depth recipe development, so I started looking for another role.

In 2017 I spotted an 18 month Development Chef Placement role at Sainsbury’s Head Office. I applied straight away as it looked like the perfect combination of developing food products, researching trends, events cooking, menu planning and a little bit of writing too. I got the job after a multi-stage interview process in November, and soon became a permanent development chef.

I’m now the full time development chef at Sainsbury’s and sit within the Trends and Innovation team. No two days are the same; sometimes I might be coming up with new and innovative concepts in the kitchen for a new range, or trawling restaurants and artisans to get a gauge of the latest trends. Equally, you could find me arranging events with PR, or writing restaurant reviews and book recommendations for trend reports. I still write recipes for my blog in my spare time and find the food industry as a whole friendly and supportive; it’s great to be a part of it.

For anyone starting out at Leiths my top tips would be to gain as much experience in different roles as possible, get involved in any development competitions Leiths are running (I was runner up in the olive oil competition during my year!) and be pro-active; every employer I’ve interviewed with has been interested in my blog (I know, a blog, ground breaking, but still!) - it’s great to have something which illustrates how passionate you are about food.

https://tassybakes.com/ - Head to Tassy's blog for her Autumn Hedgerow Celebration Cake recipe!

@tassybakes


If you find yourself wishing to pursue a career in food like Tassy was, get in touch for a friendly chat about our Three Term Diploma 2020/21.

If you already have cooking experience, and you wish to fast-track towards a successful career in food, we are still accepting applications for our Two Term Diploma starting January 2020. Come along for a relaxed open evening on 6th November and hear from more inspiring alumni, witness an exciting cooking demonstration by Leiths teachers, and have the opportunity to ask any questions about Leiths diploma life.

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