Essential Cooking Certificate: Evening Course

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

Everybody looks up to Leiths to produce the best graduates.

– Yotam Ottolenghi - Chef, Restaurateur & Food writer

Ready to master the foundations of cooking?

The Leiths Essential Cooking Certificate is the shortest of our professional, accredited cookery courses. 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 career in the food industry. Our part time evening format offers the ideal, unique opportunity for those wishing to pursue their culinary passions outside of their 9 to 5 commitments.

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.

This 10 week course runs two evenings per week (18:30-21:30) and includes three Saturdays (9:30-15:00).

The tutors are what really set Leiths apart. Their experience and skills are inspiring, and the guidance they give is incredible.

– Evening Essential Student 2019

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...

  • Work as a professional or private chef
  • Plan and launch their own food business
  • Work and travel abroad e.g. Become a chef in ski chalets of 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:

Whatever the future holds, there is no doubt that my time at Leiths shaped me hugely, and I wouldn’t be where I am without the exceptional training I received there. Though I could never claim to be a precise cook like those I admired and learned from at Leiths, the thing that remains with me is the joy of food and the extensive knowledge of ingredients and technique which Leiths inspired and which I hold dear today.

– Letitia Ann Clark - Chef, Illustrator & Food Writer

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, both in class and through designated/longer sessions in our demonstration room.

We will also be focusing on cooking seasonally, entertaining on a budget, planning your time in the kitchen and simple but 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.

  • 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 fraiche 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

Leiths is the Oxbridge of the Food World.

– Tim Hayward, British Food Writer & Broadcaster, Restaurant Critic – FT Magazine

Course Details

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; 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; Daytime Course: Runs as both a part-time course running two days a week for ten weeks, and as a full-time daytime course which runs five days a week across four weeks in the summer.

Essential Cooking Certificate; Online Course:
Our 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 evening course, please email us at to arrange an interview with one of our experienced and approachable tutors, 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

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.


Uniform and equipment

Students on this course will require an equipment pack and uniform (approx. £145). Instructions for all required items are sent out before the course begins.

What is included

  • 2 x Leiths aprons

What to bring

  • Closed toed, flat soled shoes
  • Long, loose trousers and a long sleeved top are advisable
  • 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)

To secure a place on this course there is a deposit of £400 and your agreement to the terms and conditions, which you can read here. Before paying, we highly recommend that you book an initial chat with one of our friendly tutors, either by telephone or visiting the school, to learn more about the programme and ensure that the course is right for you. To book an informal interview and tour of the school, please call 020 8749 6400 or email

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 coniditioned 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.

Prices & Booking

Essential Cooking Certificate: Evening Course
Evening Course

£3,990 (£400.00 deposit)

Sat 30 Sep 2023 - Wed 6 Dec 2023     LIMITED SPACES

  • Sat 30 Sep 2023 09.30-13.00
  • Mon 2 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 4 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 9 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 11 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 16 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 18 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Sat 21 Oct 2023 09.30-13.00
  • Mon 23 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 25 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 30 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 1 Nov 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 6 Nov 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 8 Nov 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 13 Nov 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 15 Nov 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 20 Nov 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 22 Nov 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Sat 25 Nov 2023 09.30-15.00
  • Mon 27 Nov 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 29 Nov 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 4 Dec 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 6 Dec 2023 18.30-21.30

Essential Cooking Certificate: Evening Course
Evening Course

£3,990 (£400.00 deposit)

Sat 6 Jan 2024 - Wed 13 Mar 2024     PLACES AVAILABLE

  • Sat 6 Jan 2024 09.30-13.00
  • Mon 8 Jan 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 10 Jan 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 15 Jan 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 17 Jan 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 22 Jan 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 24 Jan 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Sat 27 Jan 2024 09.30-13.00
  • Mon 29 Jan 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 31 Jan 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 5 Feb 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 7 Feb 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 12 Feb 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 14 Feb 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 19 Feb 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 21 Feb 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 26 Feb 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 28 Feb 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Sat 2 Mar 2024 09.00-15.00
  • Mon 4 Mar 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 6 Mar 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Mon 11 Mar 2024 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 13 Mar 2024 18.30-21.30

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