Where are they now? Rebecca Smith

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Where are they now? Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

After winning the BBC Good Food Magazine Award at Leiths, Rebecca climbed the ranks of the food writing world to become Delicious magazine's Food Editor

Name: Rebecca Smith

Year graduated: 2008

Current job title: Food Editor, Delicious Magazine

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

Enlightening, inspiring, hilarious

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

Temporary work as an events chef, following on from two ski seasons cooking in chalets

What made you decide to start the diploma?

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

What were the highlights of your year at Leiths?

Discovering that science when combined with cookery was both fascinating and incredibly useful, cooking things I'd never cooked before (and many I haven't cooked since…), and for the first time being really excited about getting up and going to learn new things

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

I was one of the winners of the Good Food award, so I went straight to work there for six months, followed by three and a half years at woman&home and then delicious.

Where are you working now?

Delicious magazine

How has the diploma helped you in your current role?

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.

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

Every day

What are your long term career goals?

I would like to keep doing my job for a few years, then look at exploring the freelance world…and I'd love to write some recipe books

What are you cooking or eating for dinner tonight?

I'm getting in a panic about the impending end of tomato season (and it's Christmas at work so we're cooking turkeys), so I'll be making panzanella this evening to off-set the winter roasts

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

Go in 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…

What is your favourite restaurant to eat at?

I can't choose one! Nopi for the sheer genius of their food, Mien Tay in Battersea for great Vietnamese, Quo Vadis for a winter evening and The Opera Tavern for dinner with friends.

Author: Lizzy Jones


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