London, United Kingdom
Leiths Three Term Diploma in Food and Wine
Jin Park is one of Leiths’ most recent graduates and was also named Student of the Year 2020. Before the virtual graduation ceremony even took place, Jin had impressively already landed himself a job at newly opened Fallow Restaurant. Following Fallow, Jin went on to work at various other restaurants including Akoko and Endo at the Rotunda. He is currently working at the Compton Arms in Islington.
Life before Leiths
Before Leiths, Jin had just completed an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham. As a Korean citizen, Jin also completed 21 months of mandatory military service, which he took as an opportunity to think about his life and what he wanted to do with it. “During that time, I realised that I would rather spend my time doing something that was of great enjoyment to me, and that source of enjoyment was food.”
What inspired you to pursue a career in food?
“Food has very much been a core part of my life, growing up on my mum’s home cooking and weekly shops to the nearest farmer’s market, and watching cooking programmes on television. I had always thought cooking would be a serious hobby of mine until the start of university. I realised that my degree was not suited to me at all and I was at a crossroads of what to do.”
“I had first heard of Leiths when, as a child, my mother mentioned during an episode of Great British Menu that Prue Leith had a school in the UK. Many years later, I remembered this while looking up cooking schools. When I went for my interview, I got the feeling that there was a very friendly and homely atmosphere to the school, and that appealed to me greatly.”
Life after Leiths
Immediately after graduating, Jin completed a stagiaire at Portland restaurant in London to experience the amount of work that goes into working at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Jin then went on to land a position at the newly launched Fallow Restaurant, which focuses on sustainability of ingredients and minimal waste.