Essential Cooking Certificate: Daytime Course

Learn the fundamental, timeless techniques needed for a lifetime of culinary confidence with our accredited Essential Cooking Certificate.

Ready to master the foundations of cooking?

The Leiths Essential Cooking Certificate is designed for those wishing to master the essential foundations of cooking. This course will equip you with the timeless culinary skills and techniques needed for a lifetime of confident cooking, or for a range of diverse careers in the food industry.

Through a thorough combination of fundamental cooking techniques and a diverse, exciting range of recipes, you will develop a rounded, professional skill set in the kitchen, deepen your understanding of cooking theory, and expand your knowledge surrounding food.

You will not only gain an extensive repertoire of practical skills and recipes, but also have the opportunity to develop skills which will prepare you for a professional future in food. You will learn how to plan your time in the kitchen, cost menus, and develop kitchen management, and presentation skills.

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 teaching and cooking. You’ll 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.

This course runs part-time, two days per week across 8 weeks (10:00-16:00).

I did the Essentials Course and it was brilliantly run and covered a vast range of topics and skills. As a result of studying at Leiths, I got work experience in a few restaurants, as a food styling assistant on Olive Magazine and as a runner on Saturday Kitchen. Importantly, it gave me the confidence to start food and recipe writing, which I’ve since done for various sites and magazines.

– Essential Cooking Certificate Alumni

Life at Leiths

What can I expect from life at Leiths?

Our Virtual School Visit is now live on our site to give you a taste of life at Leiths.

Industry Opportunities

The Leiths Essential Cooking Certificate is ideal for anyone with professional cooking culinary ambitions who is new to cooking. Students gaining the Essential Cooking Certificate go on to...

  • Professional or private chef
  • Plan and launch their own food business
  • Work and travel abroad e.g. Become a chef in ski chalets or private villas
  • Work in delis, cafés, B&Bs
  • Run street food businesses or supper clubs
  • Develop food blogs, explore food journalism, and write cookbooks
  • Launch a catering business or cook for private clients
  • Become a knowledgeable, diverse, and accomplished home cook
  • Further their careers through gaining a professional training and qualification

Leiths graduates have gone on to become chefs in the country's best restaurants, leaders of the London food scene, celebrated TV chefs, editors and stylists at top food publications or successful food entrepreneurs.

Read more about their stories here:

Course Content

This essential course is based on our 10 week full time Foundation Certificate with many of the same core skills learnt, but in a shorter length of time. Your time will be spent mainly in the kitchens with practical hands-on learning under the guidance of the Leiths expert teachers, however you will also benefit from a number of demonstrations in class.

We will also be focusing on cooking seasonally, planning your time in the kitchen and simple yet effective presentation.

Leiths teachers will assess your progress throughout the course and students will be required to complete a theory and practical assessment at the end of the course to be eligible for the certificate.

Successful students will leave with a qualification in practical cooking skills, kitchen theory and professional hygiene. The courses they take are done online and are as follows:

- Level II Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering

- Allergen Awareness

  • 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

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


Uniform and Equipment

Students on this course will require an equipment pack and uniform (approx. £145). Instructions for all required items are sent out at least 8 weeks before the course begins. Further information can be found in the student handbook, or contact the Registrar.

What is included:

2 x Leiths aprons

What you need 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 see our allergy and dietary restrictions advice here.


£3,990 (£400 deposit)

Before enrolling, we highly recommend that you book an initial chat with one of our friendly tutors. Due to the current situation we are currently offering 1:1’s by phone and video. You’ll have an opportunity to talk about yourself, what you are hoping to achieve and we can discuss our courses and their suitability for you. We can of course talk you through our current social distancing and health and safety policies and explain what to expect in the new academic year as well as answer any questions that you may have. You should allow up to half an hour for the appointment.

To book an chat please call 020 8749 6400 or email

You can visit our school virtually here.

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

To secure a place on this course a deposit of £400 is payable as well as your agreement to the terms and conditions, which you can read here. Your signed enrolment form should be sent to:


Leiths School of Food & Wine, 16-20 Wendell Road, London, W12 9RT, UK

or E-mail:

All remaining professional courses fees will be due at least six weeks before the course start date.

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


Credit for this course is available (exclusions apply).

Lendwise is a specialist loan provider dedicated to education finance, allowing you to pursue your culinary aspirations. Repayments would be at a fixed interest rate throughout your loan term, personalised to your profile. There are no fees or penalties for early repayment of your loan.

Contact Lendwise to apply directly. Be sure to read the terms before committing. Please note that other sources of funding may be available.

Leiths School of Food and Wine is located over 4 floors of a light and airy space on a residential street between Shepherd's Bush and Chiswick in West London.

The school comprises four kitchens, three of which are used for the full time students while the fourth is used for recipe development, corporate team building, one day workshops, photography and filming.

The kitchens are all air conditioned and equipped with gas ovens and hobs of the same design and high standard employed by professional restaurants and catering kitchens, giving students access to all the equipment needed to learn to cook professionally.

The demonstration kitchen on the ground floor is fitted with LCD screens and cameras enabling students to see the close up details of each step of the dishes and techniques demonstrated by the teachers and outside lecturers.

Students have access to a library of cookery books and magazines for reference, a student dining room, changing facilities and WiFi. There are computers at their disposal.

Course Details

Here is a summary of our full Covid-19 Health & Safety Plans, with all the key points and information you need for a safe return to our kitchens. We will be updating our procedures as necessary.

We offer the Essential Cooking Certificate in various different formats, so you can achieve your culinary ambitions in a way which suits your schedule and lifestyle:

Essential Cooking Certificate; Daytime Course: Part-time daytime course which runs two days per week.

Essential Cooking Certificate; Evening Course: Evening course running two evenings per week for ten weeks, as well as three Saturdays throughout the duration of the course.

Essential Cooking Certificate; Online Course: Flexible, 24 week online course which involves approximately 3 hours of cooking per week.

No matter which format you choose, on completion of the course you will receive your Essential Cooking Certificate. On the daytime and evening course you will also obtain a full Leiths accreditation. Online course students will also have the opportunity to enrol for the full accreditation, with a two-day practical course at the school to determine their final mark.

If you would like to talk to us about a place on the Essential Cooking Certificate course starting in April or September 2023, please email us at or call 020 8749 6400.

To secure a place on the course, we will ask for a completed enrolment form and a deposit to secure your booking. If you have any queries regarding how to book the course please telephone the school.

Foreign Language 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 have any Visa related questions please contact the Registrar at

Prices & Booking

Essential Cooking Certificate: Daytime Course
Daytime Course

£3,990 (£400.00 deposit)

Mon 2 Oct 2023 - Tue 21 Nov 2023     CLASS FULL

  • Mon 2 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 3 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 9 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 10 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 16 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 17 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 23 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 24 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 30 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 31 Oct 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 6 Nov 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 7 Nov 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 13 Nov 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 14 Nov 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 20 Nov 2023 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 21 Nov 2023 10.00-16.00

Essential Cooking Certificate: Daytime Course
Daytime Course

£3,990 (£400.00 deposit)

Mon 15 Apr 2024 - Tue 4 Jun 2024     PLACES AVAILABLE

  • Mon 15 Apr 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 16 Apr 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 22 Apr 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 23 Apr 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 29 Apr 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 30 Apr 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 6 May 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 7 May 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 13 May 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 14 May 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 20 May 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 21 May 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 28 May 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Sat 1 Jun 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Mon 3 Jun 2024 10.00-16.00
  • Tue 4 Jun 2024 10.00-16.00

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