Looking for an exhilarating, delicious career path after finishing school?

Our renowned Diploma is highly respected in the food industry, and the main entry requirement is a love of good food.

You could become a top chef at a Michelin starred restaurant, edit a food magazine, start a boutique hotel in an idyllic location, develop recipes for the supermarkets, cook for advertising photoshoots...there are so many options!

In just nine months, you will be ready to start work in our creative food industry. We even offer a risk-free option in the event of continuing lockdown restrictions, read more here.

A popular option for GAP year students is our wonderful Essential Certificate, which runs for four weeks in August. Don’t worry, if restrictions mean we can’t go ahead, we’ll refund your deposit in full.

Find out more

Keen to discuss your future? If you’d love to become a Leiths trained chef, make sure you book a 1-2-1 chat with one of our friendly teachers.

We’ll answer all your questions, and have a good old chat about where you’d like your career to take you.

Just pop your details in the yellow box and we’ll be in touch.

Take our famous diploma

For 19-year-old Caitlin Titley, the Leiths Diploma was the perfect alternative to a traditional university degree.

‘I knew as soon as I walked in it was what I wanted to do,’ she says. ‘I was nervous, as all my friends were going off to university, but it was exciting to be doing something different.’

Caitlin graduated from Leiths in June 2018, winning the Student Of The Year award. She then headed to the famous Claridge’s restaurant, where she completed her first ‘stage’ – the French name for a step in a chef‘s training – before moving on to The Savoy.

‘I’m so glad I decided to train at Leiths,’ she said. ‘The teachers are so supportive, you see yourself progress so quickly, and you make friends for life.’

The Leiths Diploma is a really special year in anyone’s life. To see behind the scenes, take a look at our students’ #LeithsDiplomaLife posts on Instagram here.

Bond with your classmates

Our students are taught in groups of 16, with one teacher for every eight students. The small group sizes create a warm, supportive team environment. It’s a fast-paced course, yet our pass rate is extremely high, in part due to the individual care and attention given to each student.

From reassuring chats at the pub, to our glamorous graduation party, bonds are forged on this course and students tend to stay in touch with their classmates for many years.

We are committed to Equal Opportunities and we’re happy to say that people of all ages and backgrounds feel included at Leiths; the main thing we have in common is our love of food!

Learn from our incredible teachers

Leiths teachers are friendly, enthusiastic and inspiring. They also have valuable knowledge to impart, as they are all experienced chefs from different areas of the food industry.

While some of our teachers have progressed through the ranks at Michelin starred restaurants such as La Trompette, Chez Bruce and L’Enclume, others have worked in styling and testing for magazine publishing houses, run their own event catering companies, and even cooked for royalty!

Besides their credentials, our teachers are quite simply very passionate, caring people who teach the individual, supporting you in achieving your professional dreams.

Feel supported

Besides our teachers, we have a great team of office staff on hand to make sure your course runs smoothly. Gemma, our Registrar, will make sure you have all the information you need before starting the course. Jo, our Operations Director, will organise everything to a tee.

Diploma students even benefit from a careers day organised by Rosie, our Events Manager, to give you a taste of the wider food industry.

We’ve been supporting students for 40 years, and if you come up against a problem during your time at Leiths, the chances are that we can get through it together.

Discover great wine

From a fresh, gooseberry-scented Sancerre to a smooth, oakey Barolo, it’s great fun exploring the world of wine, and there’s a real art to pairing a delicious plate of food with a complimentary wine.

On the Foundation Certificate, you’ll take the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 Intermediate Certificate in Wines and Spirits. This isn’t included in the Essential Certificate, but you can come back to us for a one day add-on course.

Those who take the full Diploma will take the WSET Level 2 Award and enjoy a field trip to the vineyards of Surrey. With the support of our Masters of Wine, you may wish to take your learning even further, pursuing a career as a sommelier or wine buyer.

Try a prestigious work experience placement

We’ll offer you one-on-one chats with our career advisors at Leiths List, our agency for cooks, who will help you organise work experience and support you into work when you finish. Recent placements have included:

• delicious. magazine

• The Chiltern Firehouse

• Assistant Food Stylist for a celebrity chef

• Private ski chalet, Austria

• Saturday Kitchen, Cactus TV

The more advanced placements are usually reserved for students taking our full Diploma, but if you need help getting started we’d encourage you to talk to Leiths List.

Stay locally

Leiths School of Food and Wine is located in a leafy residential area in West London, near Chiswick, Shepherd’s Bush and Hammersmith.

Students love the fact that the rent is a little more reasonable in this area than in central London, yet many restaurants and food markets are just a few tube stops away.

Although we don’t provide student accommodation, we do keep a list of local rental properties and rooms – just ask us if you’d like a copy. There are also two purpose built student accommodation blocks just a short walk from the School.

Great access to the capital’s food scene

It goes without saying that London is a hub of culinary invention! From tasting artisan cheeses at Borough Market, to a pilgrimage to Rosa’s Thai in Brixton, London offers a kaleidoscope of tastes for the curious chef in training!

We aim to make the most of this. On the Diploma you’ll visit Billingsgate Market to learn how to source the best fish and seafood, and you’ll enjoy guest lectures from some of the capital’s best cooks.

And never let it be said that Leiths is London-centric; from Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant in Cornwall to Chris Rowley’s Ballintaggart Farm in Scotland, Leiths graduates are connected to opportunities across the country - and the world!

A broad curriculum

Whether you take the Essential Certificate, Foundation Certificate or full Diploma, the syllabus will include authentic international dishes alongside modern British and French cuisine.

This means you might prepare a classic Lemon sole meunièré, but also delicious Za’atar crusted prawns. Our courses offer patisserie and cuisine in combination, giving you the chance to become a thoroughly well rounded chef.

Work in food media

When we surveyed our graduates over five years, we found that just 40 per cent chose to work in restaurant kitchens.

The rest worked in a diverse range of food industry roles; styling food for adverts, developing recipes in supermarket test kitchens, travelling the world as private chefs, teaching, and writing for top food magazines.

These roles can offer more sociable 9-5 hours, or added flexibility if you decide to work freelance, and many offer fantastic career progression.

Catapault yourself into the food industry

Over the years, Leiths has trained over 4,000 creative, individual, passionate food professionals. We’ve seen them progress from their first, nail-biting day on the Diploma to confidently presenting television shows and managing restaurant chains.

To read the inspiring personal stories of our graduates, don’t miss our Made At Leiths blog series.

“Our Leiths intern really impressed, not only through the skills she’d built up in just one term, but through her positive and adaptable mindset.” - Martin Sweeney, Head Chef, The Tramshed
“Leiths School of Food and Wine has seen oodles of students start up their own business or work in Michelin-starred restaurants.” - Kate Hilpern, The Independent
“It’s really well organised, the teachers are friendly and the days are well structured. My advice? Do it!” - Willa, Diploma student
“Teachers have excellent industry and subject specific knowledge. They have a passion for cooking and are highly effective at using this experience and interest to engage students, building their confidence and enthusiasm.” - Independent Schools Inspectorate
“When I hear they’ve been trained at Leiths, I want them.” - Rick Stein
“There’s just a good feeling about this school; it’s friendly and welcoming and there’s such a supportive atmosphere.” - Nick, Diploma student

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