End of Year Reflections: Our Graduating Diploma Class of '22

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End of Year Reflections: Our Graduating Diploma Class of '22

​The time has come for us to say goodbye and good luck to the Class of ‘22, the brilliant students – now qualified chefs – who did their Three-Term Diploma in Food and Wine at Leiths this last year. Four of our recent graduates reflect on their experience.

“For me, it was a career change, so I really enjoyed the community at Leiths and meeting a lot of others in the same boat. I felt it was a very supportive environment. The support from the teachers and the school was one of the best things for me. They were very encouraging, giving guidance about the different paths you could take in the industry and helping you tailor a career post-Leiths that isn’t necessarily about being a chef working in a kitchen.”

-Maryam Gambo-Saliu @mimigsaliu

“The best thing about Leiths was you felt like you were learning something new every day, from the incredible guest demonstrations to the knowledge our amazing teachers would pass on to us every day. Doing Leith’s was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t hard though; it was mentally and physically draining, especially at the start. There were times of laughter and also tears but it was all beyond worth it in the end. I feel so proud to say I’m a part of the Leiths family and I will always be so grateful to have had the opportunity. It’s already opened so many doors and opportunities and I only graduated a few days ago.”

-Gabriella Warnford-Davis @eatingwithgabriella

“The Leiths kitchen is such a fun, supportive environment and you can sense straight away how much the teachers want you to learn and succeed. Meeting 90 other like-minded students has been brilliant too. Having all gone through the same experience, it feels like there’s a really strong bond there and a lot of us will be close friends for a long time after Leiths."

"I knew it was going to be hard work, but didn’t realise just how all-consuming an experience it would be. You’re constantly thinking about food and when you’re not at school actually doing it, you’re at home preparing for what’s coming next (or ‘occasionally’ at the pub with classmates talking about it). It’s a crazy, intense, continuous cycle and it completely takes over your life, but I wouldn’t have changed any of it.

Obviously I’ve come out of the course equipped with the skills I need for a career in food but it’s also taught me a lot about myself. I’m a lot more resilient than I realised and feel like I can cope with anything life throws at me. It’s given me a confidence in both myself and my food that wasn’t there before. I have an office background so there was always a lingering case of imposter syndrome and wondering whether or not this was right for me. After this experience I’m 100% sure I’ve made the right choice.”

-Matt Beavis @mattinlondon

“My time at Leiths has been once in a lifetime. While I knew starting the course I would be learning a lot about food, the sheer mass of information I have grasped over the last nine months is far more than I ever could have imagined. Not only was I surrounded with people as passionate about food as I am, but I have also made lifelong friends in classmates and teachers. Everyday I could count on leaving the building with a smile on my face.”

-Anna Colwell @alittlechilli_

Author: Hilary Armstrong

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