Explore Leiths Diploma Open House – 5th June 2024


Essential Cooking Certificate: Daytime Course

Learn fundamental and timeless techniques needed for a lifetime of culinary confidence with our part-time, accredited Essential Cooking Certificate


Elevate your skills to new heights in this professional course


Best suited for people with little or no culinary experience


Certified professional course


Including your initial £400.00 deposit

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Leiths’ Essential Cooking Certificate is an 8 week, accredited cookery course designed for those wishing to master the fundamentals of cooking. Running two days a week, this course will equip you with essential culinary skills and techniques needed for a lifetime of confident cooking or an entry level job in the food industry. Through a combination of essential cooking techniques and a diverse range of recipes, you will develop a rounded professional skillset and deepen your understanding of cooking theory. You will also have the opportunity to develop skills which can prepare you for a professional future including kitchen management, time planning, menu costing and presentation.

Learning from some of the most skilled and experienced teachers in the industry, your passion for food will be nurtured from the moment you arrive at Leiths, and your tutors will inspire you through their grounded, professional approach to cooking. You’ll also find yourself in a class of like-minded food lovers and build a supportive network of student colleagues. So, whether this is the start of a lifetime of accomplished home cooking or the beginning of your new career, you will be perfectly prepared for your culinary journey, whatever it may bring.


The Essential Cooking Certificate is suitable for confident home-cooks wanting to build a thorough cooking skillset or for budding professionals wanting to gain accredited training 

Course Content

Course Structure:

This 8 week course runs part-time, two days per week from 10am-4pm (with one Saturday on the April 2024 cohort).

Your time will be spent mainly in the kitchens with practical learning under the guidance of the Leiths expert teachers, however you will also benefit from a number of demonstrations in class. 

Skills & Recipes

Skills covered: 

  • Knife skills and presentation 
  • Eggs: setting and thickening 
  • Pastry: shortcrust and choux 
  • Pan frying meat and pan sauces 
  • Flat fish filleting and cooking 
  • Shellfish 
  • Stewing and slow cooking 
  • Breads 
  • Cakes: creamed, melted, rubbed in and whisked 
  • Gelatine 
  • Emulsion sauces 
  • Jointing and butchery 

Example recipes: 

  • Chicken supreme with a tarragon and crème fraîche sauce 
  • Pan fried sea bass with a fennel and orange salad 
  • Za’atar prawns with a bulgur wheat salad 
  • Ricotta and lemon tortellini with a sage butter sauce 
  • Shawarma lamb rumps with pickled cucumber salad and chickpea flatbreads 
  • Panna cotta with seasonal fruit 
  • Chocolate profiteroles 
  • Raspberry glazed tartlet with vanilla mascarpone 

Assessment & Coursework

Leiths teachers will assess your progress throughout the course and you will be required to complete a theory and practical assessment at the end of the course to be eligible for the certificate. Your teachers will taste your food as part of a continual assessment providing you with constructive feedback on both method and taste. 


As well as the Leiths Essentials Cooking Certificate, successful students will leave with a qualification in practical cooking skills, kitchen theory and professional hygiene. These courses are taken online.  

These courses are: 

  • Level II Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering 
  • Allergen Awareness 

Career Support & Leiths List

Leiths has an unrivalled reputation in the food industry for producing highly-skilled graduates that go on to be the next leaders of the food world.

The past decade has seen an explosion in the varied career opportunities available within food, from private cheffing and hospitality, to recipe developing, media and food start-ups and entrepreneurship. Whatever your aspirations, the Leiths’ professional courses equip you with the lifetime skills, resources, network and solutions needed to kickstart your career.

Leiths List:

Our professional students all benefit from our bespoke careers and recruitment agency Leiths List, drawing on Leiths network of alumni and industry connections to provide work experience, job placements and advice from some of the UK’s leading food businesses. Students have access to this support from the point that they begin their course well into their professional careers.

Booking & Fees

Students on this course will require an equipment pack (approx. £145) and uniform (approx. £38). 

Book a One-To-One Chat: 

A one-to-one chat is not a requirement for enrolling on this course. However, if you want to explore your suitability for this course or have any questions, you can book in a 15-minute one-to-one chat with one of our friendly teaching staff. This is carried out remotely via video call. To request a one-to-one chat, fill in the form here with your details and we will get in touch to organise.  

Alternatively, you can contact our Registrar with any questions by phone at 020 8749 6400 or email at Registrar@leiths.com. 

Book and secure your place: 

To book, click ‘Book now’ at the top of the page and select your preferred date. To secure your place, you will need to pay a deposit of £400 upon booking and complete our enrolment form. This form will be sent over to you by email along with further information after booking by our Registrar. By signing this form, you agree to our course booking terms and conditions. To read our terms and conditions, click here. 

Payments for professional courses must be made by either bank transfer, cheque or a debit/credit card payment. We do not accept American Express. 

Places are offered on a first come, first served basis. 

Remaining fees: 

Once the deposit is paid, all remaining professional course fees will be due six weeks before the course starts. We’ll send you an invoice, along with instructions for ordering equipment, books and uniform closer to the time. View our full price list here.

For more information on finance and payment plans, please contact our Registrar at registrar@leiths.com or call directly at 020 8749 6400. 


What is included:

  • 2 x Leiths aprons

What to bring:

  • Closed toed, flat soled shoes 
  • Long, loose trousers and a long sleeved top 
  • A notebook and pencil 

Allergies and Intolerances:

We are happy to make adjustments where possible.

Please read our full policy on allergies and dietary restrictions here.


“The best thing I got out of this course was consolidating confidence in my own ability. Now I feel confident to completely go for it. That’s why I’ve quit my job now and I have the confidence to take on my food business full-time. “

– Sara Assad-Mannings, Essentials Student


“I’ve learned so much from a theory point of view. Understanding what the processes actually mean and learning why you can’t really cut corners with cooking has been hugely helpful. It’s made me a much more organised and diligent cook.”

– Emily Crocker, Essentials Student