Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine

2021 dates:

27th September to 10th December 2021

Please call 020 8749 6400 or email to arrange an interview.

This ten week full time course takes committed amateurs and potential professionals through the fundamental cooking techniques. Students go back to basics, learning the science behind the techniques and build a solid understanding of fundamental culinary skills.

With training in kitchen practice, understanding recipes, time planning, menu planning and cooking for large numbers, students can expect to become proficient and confident cooks. Students completing this course often find work catering for private dinner parties and catered accommodation in the UK and abroad.

Open evenings: To explore our Virtual School Visit, click here.

Suitable for:

Anyone interested in

  • Working as a professional or private chef
  • Launching a catering business
  • Developing food products
  • Food styling
  • Food writing
  • Food media, marketing and PR
  • Working as a cook/host in ski chalets or on boats
  • Life skills and personal development

How to book:

If you would like to book onto the Foundation Certificate starting in September 2021, please email us at to arrange an interview or call 020 8749 6400.

If you are offered a place on the Foundation Certificate, you will need to provide us with a completed enrolment form and a deposit of £1000 to secure your booking. If you have any queries regarding how to book the course please telephone the school.

Please note: Payments for professional courses must be made by either bank transfer, cheque or a debit card payment. We cannot accept American Express.

A glimpse of life at Leiths...

Download prospectus pdf

Course content Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine

You will be continually assessed during the practical sessions. You must also pass a theory and practical examination and complete the coursework to successfully graduate. A class teacher will give feedback and support throughout the course.


You will be expected to study at home for about 4 to 5 hours a week. This will include writing time plans, menu planning and costing exercises. This will form a final portfolio to be assessed at the end of the academic year.


You may be disqualified from taking examinations if you have not completed the required 90% of the course.


Details of our Complaints Procedure can be found here. If you have any questions about this procedure, please email

This 10 week full time course gives you a thorough introduction to kitchen techniques and a variety of cooking styles. Training in kitchen practice, understanding recipes, time planning, menu planning and cooking for large numbers is also included.

The food cooked is largely classic in style with an emphasis on fundamental skills. However international cooking styles and recipes are also covered. You will learn to follow, understand and adapt recipes, plan time efficiently and cook with confidence and gain the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 1 Certificate in Wine.

Typical skills and sample recipes:

Meat preparation


  • pork
  • beef
  • chicken
  • lamb
  • carving
  • Chicken with saffron and lemon
  • Lamb with prunes, chilli, coriander and spices
  • steaks
  • Roast pheasant and accompaniments
  • Venison and cranberry casserole

International cookery

  • Indian and Sri Lankan
  • Middle Eastern


  • White sauce, Mornay and béchamel
  • Combination sauces, e.g. Tomato sauce, pesto
  • Liaison sauces
  • Pan sauces

Fish and shellfish preparation

  • flat fish preparation - Lemon sole meuniere
  • Soy glazed salmon with hot and crunchy salad
  • Fish pie
  • Shellfish preparation - Moules marinière


  • Egg whites – Meringues
  • Gelatine – Perry jelly
  • Ice creams – Coffee ice cream


  • Choux - Chocolate profiteroles, Gougere, Eclairs
  • Shortcrust – Leek and Gruyere, Treacle tart
  • Rough Puff – Eccles cakes


  • Bread – White loaf, Italian bread
  • Melting method - Black sticky gingerbread
  • Rubbing-in method- Scones
  • Traybakes - Brownies
  • Celebration cakes

Professional skills

  • Freelance cooking - Buffet party cooking, Dinner party cooking
  • Menu writing
  • Basic costing


  • Introduction to wine tasting
  • Matching food with wine
  • Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 1 Certificate in Wine

Also covered: Knife skills, presentation, seasoning, egg cooking, stocks, vegetables, canapés, cooking for presents, Christmas cooking, cooking for special diets, healthy eating.

Typical day

A typical day normally starts at 9.15am and finishes at 5pm with an hour for lunch between 1-2pm.

The day is divided between demonstrations and practical cooking sessions. You will also receive lectures and demonstrations from gastronomic celebrities and head chefs from leading restaurants as well as caterers, food scientists and other culinary experts.

During the course, there is also the occasional outing and event that goes outside these set hours.


Your weeks alternate so on one week, your day begins with a morning demonstration at 10.00am; arrive at 9.45am to be prepared for the start.

The next week, your day will start with a practical cookery session; arrive by 9.15am to change into your chef’s whites and start organising ingredients.


If the morning cooking session does not run over, lunch is 1-2pm. You can go to the student common room, remain in the demonstration room, do some research in the library or sit in the local park.

All the food you cook is yours, so if you have a morning cookery session your lunch can be what you've cooked. If you have a morning demonstration, you taste the food at the end of the session, but may also want to bring supplementary food from home or eat out locally.


If you have a practical session in the afternoon, allow time to change and get into the kitchens early to weigh up the ingredients.

Classes usually end at 5pm but may finish later on occasions. If you are cooking in the afternoon, the food cooked can be taken home to enjoy for dinner.

Qualifications Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine

By completing this course, you will gain the following qualifications:

  • Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine
  • Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 1 Intermediate Certificate in Wines and Spirits
  • Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering
  • Food Allergen Awareness
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health class
  • First Aid training

Careers Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine

What you could do with a Leiths Foundation Certificate:

  • Set up your own catering company or freelance for other caterers
  • Become a food stylist and make food look beautiful for photography
  • Develop dishes or products for a food producer or supermarket
  • Teach others to cook
  • Write recipe books
  • Become a food writer
  • Become a private chef for a family
  • Work in food media, marketing or PR
  • Or become a chef and aim for a Michelin star or 3!

Leiths graduates have gone on to become chefs in the country's finest restaurants, leaders of the London food scene, celebrated TV chefs, editors and stylists at top food publications or successful food entrepreneurs.

Finding work
Leiths List, the school's agency for chefs, can also assist students and graduates in finding work.

Booking / Fees Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine


The first step is to book an informal interview. Our Receptionist who manages the diary can be contacted Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm on +44 (0)20 8749 6400 by following the instructions for 'Reception'. Interviews are held at the school; 16-20 Wendell Road, W12 9RT. On the day of your interview, you will meet our Managing Director, School Principal or a Senior Teacher. You'll have a tour of the school, followed by a thorough chat about your previous experience, what you hope to achieve, wand we will answer all of your questions about the courses and the school. It is also important that you inform us in your interview of any relevant medical conditions and/or specific learning difficulties that could affect your time on the course.

How to book

Following your interview, our Registrar will contact you by email offering you a place (and setting out any relevant conditional offers). The enrolment form and details will be attached. If we do not think the course is suitable for you for any reason we will let you know, and offer alternative advice.

If you decide to join us, please arrange payment of the deposit and send the signed enrolment form to: Registrar, Leiths School of Food & Wine, 16-20 Wendell Road, London, W12 9RT, UK or email to This will secure your place on the course. Once these have been processed you will receive confirmation of acceptance via email stating that you have been allocated a place on the course subject to Leiths terms and conditions.


All remaining professional course fees will be due at least six weeks before the course starts. We'll send you an invoice, along with instructions for ordering equipment, books and uniform closer to the time.

View our full price list here.


Professional Careers Development Loans were withdrawn by the government on 31st January 2019 and as yet, a new scheme has not been announced.

Leiths are trying to register for alternative financing but sadly this is not yet available.

You can, however choose to pay your fees in instalments. Please call us on +44 (0)20 8749 6400 or email the registrar at for more information.

Facilities Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine

Leiths School of Food and Wine is located over 4 floors of a light and airy space on a residential street between Shepherd's Bush and Chiswick in West London.

The school is comprised of four kitchens, three of which are used for the full time students while the fourth is used for recipe development, corporate team building, one day workshops, photography and filming.

The kitchens are all equipped with gas ovens and hobs of the same design and high standard employed by most professional restaurants and catering kitchens, giving students access to all the equipment needed to learn to cook professionally.

The demonstration kitchen on the ground floor is fully air conditioned and fitted with LCD screens and cameras enabling students to see the close up details of each step of the dishes and techniques demonstrated by the teachers and outside lecturers.

Students have access to a library of cookery books and magazines for reference, a student dining room, changing facilities and WiFi. There are computers at their disposal.

Preparing for the Course Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine

Uniform and equipment

As a student on this course, you will require knives (£249 – £399) additional kitchen equipment (£130) and course literature (£75).

You are required to wear a chef’s jacket, hat, apron, checked trousers and non-slip kitchen clogs (£100). Instructions and order forms for all required items will be sent before the course begins.


The School is non-residential, but we keep an accommodation list if you need help finding somewhere to stay while you study.

Foreign Language Students and Visas

If English is your second language you should have proof that you've attained an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) band score of 6.5 which equates to C1 on the CEFR (Council of Europe's Common European Framework). If you have studied at degree level before in the UK this will not be needed.

If you are a Non-EU prospective student requiring a Study Visa or Tier 4 Study Visa please inform us before your interview. Any Visa related questions can be directed to the Registrar at

* All prices correct at time of publishing. Please note that prices are likely to change at the end of each financial year (April).



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