Due to the coronavirus outbreak Leiths has made the difficult decision to cancel all planned courses (except our online courses) until the end of May. 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.


Where are they now? Hugo Jeffreys

/ Categories Alumni, #MadeAtLeiths / Author:

Where are they now? Hugo Jeffreys

Hugo graduated in 2009 and now runs a UK charcuterie business

Name: Hugo Jeffreys

Year graduated: 2009

Current job title: Company Director of Black Hand Food Ltd.

How would you describe your year on the diploma at Leiths in 3 words?

Fun and informative

What were you doing/Wherewere you working before the diploma?

Sound engineer and musician

What made you decide to start the diploma?

After my previous employer went into administration I had the opportunity to immerse myself in an area that I was really interested in. One in which I felt I could carve out my own direction.

What were the highlights of your year at Leiths?

Learning the various elements of cookery which I probably would not have involved myself with had I not done the course, like pastry and making a great stock. Things I hadn't realised were fundamental building blocks for a career in cooking.

Hugo at work

What was your first job or work experience following the diploma?

I very briefly worked as a development chef in a large ready meal company. I lasted 2 months until I could stand the sight of intensively reared chicken no more!

Where are you working now?

I run my own charcuterie manufacturing business.

How has the diploma helped you in your current role?

I find that it has really helped me to communicate well with other professionals in the industry. Being able to demonstrate you really know what you're talking about has been paramount to making contacts which ultimately help your career progression.

How often do you use the skills you learnt at Leiths?


What are your long term career goals?
My business is still very young, as is the UK charcuterie industry, so at the moment the goal is to continue to build my customer base. Beyond that, I hope to be able to branch out into catering at some point but I'll have to wait and see.

What are you cooking or eating for dinner tonight?

My schedule is pretty demanding so I don't often cook at home any more. However, when I do I tend to really go to town and do something huge for my whole family. I work with meat pretty much every day so when I do cook I tend to prefer vegetarian based meals or fish. I love dairy though, and will always have some of the best butter I can find in the fridge along with a (real!) sourdough loaf on the go.

What key piece of advice would you offer to anyone thinking of studying at Leiths?

Go for it! Apply yourself to every aspect of the course, even if you think it's not really for you. You'll be surprised at what you find you're good at.

What is your favourite restaurant to eat at?

I'm a big fan of London staples like St. John Bread & Wine. But there's a few little lesser known places which I love. Gourmet San on Bethnal green road can throw some incredible surprises at you if you're willing to be bold with your menu choices. The newly re-done Marksman pub is my current favourite though.

Follow Hugo on twitter @blackhandfood

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