I started the year long Professional Diploma at Leiths School of Food and Wine back in October 2013. On my first day the teachers told us that there would be tears on our last day. Sitting there, feeling intimidated and nervous, this was hard to imagine. Was choosing to spend a year learning to cook the right decision? Would I be good enough? But sure enough, 9 months later, the thought of leaving the Leiths bubble is pretty emotional. Mountains of culinary knowledge aside, here are just a few of the lessons I learnt and the advice I'd give to anyone embarking on their own Leiths adventure... My first ever dish at Leiths, day 1: hummus and crudites
For the first few weeks of the first term, you will be ridiculously exhausted. Then your stamina builds up and you're no longer crashed out by 8pm!
Sometimes a teacher actually is giving you a death stare. Most of the time, they're just thinking about getting through a day of tasting 32 lemon meringue pies.
Lavelli does the best coffee, Bridge That Gap does the cheapest sandwiches and The Ginger Pig is best for meat feast days. Tesco is marginally closer than Sainsbury’s. Lunch is a big priority at cookery school.
Salt and butter are your new best friends.
Enjoy the only time that reading Nigella or watching Bake Off can count as studying.
My last dish at Leiths – creative rabbit: braised rabbit and pancetta pie, Parma ham wrapped rabbit loin, baby carrots, potato puree, red wine jus and microherbs