Sam Duff & Charlotte Harris
Chefs & Catering Business Founders
London, United Kingdom
@charlottehcookery / @chefsamduff
Leiths Three Term Diploma in Food and Wine
Sam and Charlotte, both graduates from Leiths, went on to work at Spring in Somerset House together as commis chefs. Today, Charlotte is working at Brunswick House and Sam is working as a pastry chef at the Elder Press in Hammersmith.
What they’re most proud of is the business they own together, Curiouser Kitchen, which hosts immersive supper clubs and culinary experiences inspired by literary masterpieces as well as events catering. They started this venture whilst studying at Leiths and have been growing it ever since. During the pandemic, Sam has also pivoted to create dinner box deliveries offering bespoke, restaurant-quality, seasonal menus delivered directly to your door.
Life before Leiths
Prior to enrolling at Leiths, Sam was working at a content marketing agency on the Tesco food account and Charlotte had just finished an English Literature degree at Leeds and was completing an internship at Audible.
Why a career in food?
“We had both always been interested in food and cooking, but I don’t think either of us ever saw ourselves as actually being proper chefs. Charlotte had only signed up for the foundation term and decided halfway through to stay for the full diploma. I had always wanted a career involving food (hence the job in food marketing), but never was brave enough to take the leap fully until Leiths.”
What were the biggest challenges to overcome whilst training?
“For Charlotte, she was working a second job to help pay for the course so she was working in the evenings as well as managing school work – an exhausting task on top of long school days! For me it was taking the leap of faith in leaving a steady and stable job and changing careers at 30 with no idea if it would work out, it was incredibly daunting.”
What do you love most about your job?
“The hours working in restaurants are always tough, but Charlotte loves continually learning and being pushed, and at Hicce is getting to learn so many sections which is exciting and thrilling. I’m loving private work – mostly doing weddings and special occasion events which is amazing to be a part of such a special moment in people’s lives.”