London, United Kingdom
Leiths Three Term Diploma in Food and Wine
London-based Emily celebrates an extremely successful career in food styling, and also dedicates time towards cookery writing and recipe testing. Predominantly styling food to be featured in cookbooks, she has also worked with an abundant number of illustrious newspapers, magazines and advertisers including The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Olive Magazine, BBC Good Food Magazine and Bloomsbury Publishing, to name a few. Over the years she has also authored three well-loved cookbooks: Quick + Simple = ‘Delicious: Genius, Hassle-free Cooking’, ‘Posh Rice’ and ‘Posh Toast’.
Life before Leiths
A career in food was not on the cards from day one for Emily. Taking an initial interest in the art world and pursuing studies in the field, she then went on to spend five years with the BBC in local radio and as a content producer, with a brief period working for an art magazine. These experiences, however, left her feeling uninspired. “I wasn’t satisfied in my job and had just fallen into previous roles. Having studied Fine Art, I had a yearning to do something more creative. Cooking was something I’d always done, it’s how I would unwind… I’d go to sleep reading cookbooks.” Shortly after this realisation, Emily embarked on a career changing journey, the start of which took place at Leiths.
What inspired you to enrol at Leiths?
“As I began to research and talk to people about how to achieve my dream, one of the things that came up time and time again was Leiths. So many food stylists had trained there and it became clear that having a Leiths diploma was highly regarded in the industry. I wanted to become the best cook I could be and learn more about the science of cooking.”
Life after graduation
Having uncovered and cemented her deep-rooted passion for cooking and great food throughout her Leiths diploma, Emily beelined straight for BBC Good Food to help bring her food styling dreams to fruition, before then heading down the freelance path a year later. “I discovered the job of a food stylist, and thought ‘that’s what I want to do! Over the years I’ve worked on some amazing projects, including food styling Yotam Ottolenghi and Meera Sodha’s Guardian columns, styling and recipe testing for magazines and dozens of cookbooks by brilliant authors, working on advertising campaigns for large brands, and writing recipes for various publications.”
What do you love most about your job?
What she loves most about her role is the freedom to cook with such a diverse variety of different food, having creative autonomy and working with wonderful and talented people. “I love bringing recipes to life and making them look as delicious as possible. When I see someone look at a picture and say ‘I want to make that’, I know I’ve done a good job.”
Any wise words for future grads?
“I think I would have found it much harder to get into this industry without having gone to Leiths. It’s a very small world and having a Leiths diploma stands you in good stead. People know that you can cook to a high standard, have the right skills and a strong work ethic. The connections I made whilst at Leiths and on the BBC Good Food internship were invaluable.”