Explore Leiths Diploma Open House – 5th June 2024


Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine

Learn the fundamentals of cooking to launch a successful career in food or for a lifetime of confident cooking


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 £1000.00 deposit

Initial 1-on-1 consultation required.

Book a Consultation


The Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine is an 11 week, full-time chef qualification that takes aspiring food professionals and passionate, committed home cooks through a thorough, rounded curriculum of the fundamental cooking techniques.

The teaching begins with key chef techniques such as knife skills and egg cookery and builds up to more advanced work. You’ll be taught a repertoire of classical recipes and techniques, complemented by world cuisines and artisan skills to reflect how people love to cook and eat today. One aspect of the course that all our students cherish is the opportunity to learn from visiting lecturers and guest chefs such as Ben Tish and Olia Hercules, as well as Leiths own resident experts. Over the years, we’ve hosted a number of revered industry names and have covered subjects such as plant-based cooking and healthy eating.

On completion of this course, you will be equipped with a full set of essential skills and in-depth understanding to go on to launch a new, exciting career in food or continue to grow as a cook at home. As well as learning an extensive range of classic and contemporary recipes, you’ll be trained in kitchen practice, time planning, menu planning and cooking for large numbers, taught by Leiths highly experienced teachers. Expect to build a powerful future network in your student peers, while learning about what you love in an environment of like-minded people who are all driven by a love of good food.


Tuesday 24th September 2024 – Friday 6th December 2024


The Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine is for beginner-level cooks seeking to gain thorough training in the fundamentals of cookery.  

This course is suited to those who are looking to begin a culinary career, gain accredited training for work abroad while travelling or simply just become a more confident home-cook. 

Course Content

Course Structure

This 11 week course runs annually from September to December, five days a week from 9am-5pm.

The Foundation Certificate forms the first term in the Three Term Diploma, and therefore training on this course will be undertaken alongside Leiths Diploma students.

Each day is broken down into a morning and afternoon session. During these sessions, your learning will be divided between practical cooking and teacher demonstrations, led by our expert senior tutors.


Our teaching team are some of the most highly skilled chefs in the UK. Most having completed the Leiths Diploma, there is a minimum requirement of 2 years work in hospitality and industry before teaching at Leiths, to ensure all our teachers provide nuanced and informed culinary expertise to all students.

Each class within the cohort will be provided with a dedicated class tutor to support them throughout their training, providing bespoke feedback and performance reviews.

Leiths prides itself in providing a tailored and comprehensive learning experience to all its Diploma students, emphasised by its excellent student to teacher ratio.

As well as teaching from our expert in-house team, you will also experience guest chef demonstrations by some of the food industry’s most notable individuals.

Skills Covered

This course will cover: 

  • Foundation kitchen skills including knife skills, seasoning and presentation 
  • Egg cookery 
  • Emulsion, composite and roux based sauces 
  • Fish and shellfish preparation and cooking, including fish filleting, mussels and prawns 
  • Introduction to cakes, baking and bread 
  • Shortcrust and choux pastries 
  • Introduction to butchery 
  • Slow cooking of meat and tender cut cooking 
  • Game preparation and cooking 
  • Working with gelatine, egg whites, custards and assembling desserts 
  • Vegetable preparation and cooking for accompaniments and individual dishes 
  • Christmas cooking, gift cooking and canapés 
  • Professional approach to kitchens including health and safety, hygiene, organisation, food allergens and COSHH 
  • Guest demonstrations including Spanish food, cheese making, grains and pulses, healthy eating, Indian street food 
  • Wine – WSET Level 1 Certificate 

Example Recipes

  • Goujons of sole with tartar sauce  
  • Roast sirloin of beef, Yorkshire puddings and fresh horseradish sauce 
  • Soy glazed salmon with hot and sour salad 
  • Mackerel recheado with celeriac and apple remoulade  
  • Pear and blackberry pavlova with praline crumb 
  • Victoria sponge with lemon curd 
  • Tarte Normande with calvados crème Anglaise 
  • Lamb with prunes, coriander and spices 
  • Duck breast, blackcurrant sauce and dauphinoise potatoes 
  • Cauliflower soup with truffle oil, wholemeal bread rolls 

Assessment & Coursework

You will be continually assessed during the practical sessions. A theory and practical examination and completion of the coursework will form part of the graduation assessment. Daily reviews with your class tutor will provide feedback and support, throughout the course. 

Part of your study will be managed at home – about 4 to 5 hours a week. This will include writing time plans, menu planning and costing exercises. You will also present a final portfolio of recipes and menus to be assessed at the end of your course. 


By completing this course, you will gain the following qualifications: 

  • Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine 
  • Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 in Wines
  • Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering 
  • Food Allergen Awareness 
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
  • First Aid Training 

Career Support & Leiths List

Leiths has an unrivalled reputation in the food industry for producing highly-skilled, innovative 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 & Interview

Book your one-to-one: 

Places on this course are offered following a 45-minute informal interview. This is a relaxed discussion between you and one of our friendly teaching staff where we can learn about your unique learning needs and discuss whether the course is right for you. Eligibility will be determined based upon cooking aptitude and suitability for the course.  This is carried out via a remote video call.  

To request an informal interview, click ‘Book a Consultation’ at the top of the page or click here.  Fill in the form with your details, selecting ‘Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine’ from the options and submit. Our admin team will then be in touch to set up your interview.  

Book an introductory chat: 

If you are unsure whether this course is right for you and you want to explore your options, we do offer the opportunity to book 15-minute introductory chat. This allows you to speak directly to our teaching team and ask any questions you may have about your opportunities. This is carried out remotely via video call. Please note: places on this course will only be awarded following the informal 45 minute interview.  

To request a one-to-one introductory chat, fill in the form here with your details, selecting 15-minute chat from the options and we will get in touch to organise.  

Secure your place: 

You will be contacted by email following your interview by our Principal or Headteacher to offer a place on the course. To secure your place, a deposit of £1,000 will need to be paid. This is usually done over the phone, organised and facilitated by our Registrar.  

You will also need to fill out the 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. 

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 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


Uniform & Equipment

Students on this course will require to purchase: 

  • A knife set (£300 – £465) 
  • Uniform
  • Additional kitchen equipment (approx. £200)

Instructions and order forms for all required items will be sent out before the course begins. Further information can be found in the student handbook or by contacting the Registrar. 

What is included: 

  • 3 x Leiths aprons 


The school is non-residential, but we keep an accommodation list if you need help finding somewhere to stay while you study. This can be sent to you once you have a place confirmed. Please contact the school for more information.

International students and VISAs

If English is your second language you should have proof that you’ve attained an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) band score of 6.5 which equates to C1 on the CEFR (Council of Europe’s Common European Framework). If you have studied at degree level before in the UK this will not be needed.

If you are a Non-UK prospective student requiring a Student Visa or a Standard Visitor Visa please inform us before your interview. Any Visa related questions can be directed to the Registrar at registrar@leiths.com.

Allergies and Intolerances

We are happy to make adjustments where possible.

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


“The teaching style here at Leiths is absolutely exceptional. There’s always two teachers in the classroom at any one time, so I’ve never had to wait more than about 30 seconds if I have a question or concern before the tutor is immediately by my side.”

– Kate McCombe, Diploma Student


“The teachers here offer so much, I love the variety of topics that we cover and different cuisines. I grew up in Asia so I love when we cover those cuisines and different skills from all around the world, and also obviously still sticking to traditional values and methods but having a variety, it’s really amazing.”

– David Nicholson, Diploma Student

Our Prospectus

Ready to embark on a delicious adventure? Dive into our comprehensive prospectus to discover everything you need to know about joining the vibrant community here at Leiths School of Food & Wine.

From mastering the art of pastry to perfecting the nuances of wine pairing, our courses are crafted to ignite your passion for all things culinary. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, there’s something for everyone within our diverse range of programs.