Foundation Certificate in Food and Wine

Learn the essential fundamentals of cooking needed to launch a successful career in food and for a lifetime of confident cooking.

Master the fundamental foundations of cookery

Our foundation course takes aspiring food professionals and passionate, committed home cooks through a thorough, rounded curriculum of the fundamental cooking techniques. Starting from the key foundations of cookery, such as knife skills and egg cookery, students will learn the science behind the techniques to be able to build a solid understanding of essential culinary skills. As well as mastering the fundamentals of cooking, this course will inspire you with fresh presentation, global dishes and artisan skills such as bread making and cheese making. The range of guest demonstrations varies from year to year, covering topics including plant-based cooking, healthy eating, and welcoming visiting chefs such as Olia Hercules and Ben Tish, as well as established caterers and well known food writers.

On completion of this course, you will be equipped for a lifetime of confident cooking, whether this be in a professional or home environment. Through gaining a full set of essential skills and in-depth understanding, you are able to go on and use your cooking skills 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. You will learn from some of the most skilled and experienced teachers, chefs, and industry leaders in the world. Expect to build a wonderful and powerful future network in your student peers, learning about what you love in an environment of like-minded people who are all driven by a love of good food.

Everybody looks up to Leiths to produce the best graduates.

– Yotam Ottolenghi - Chef, Restaurateur & Food writer

Booking information
If you would like to talk to us about a place on the Foundation course starting in September 2023, 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 Foundation 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.

26th September 2023 to 8th December 2023

The total fee for this course is £10,180 (deposit £1,000). 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.

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 are a non-EU 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

Life at Leiths

What can I expect from life at Leiths?

Our Virtual School Visit is live on our website to give you a taste of the Diploma experience.

You can also follow our social channels and read more in our blog and online magazine Follow our hashtags #madeatleiths for alumni stories and #leithsdiplomalife to scroll through our diploma students journeys.

The Leiths Culture

Leiths wouldn’t be Leiths without its connected network of passionate, approachable people. Hear from our current students, alumni and staff as they describe the culture at Leiths in their own words and share their personal experiences.

The Leiths Effect

Filmed at the Leiths 40th anniversary celebration, hear from leading industry professionals and some of our most inspiring alumni, as they discuss what it means to be trained at Leiths.

Industry Opportunities

Having completed the foundation course, you will be prepared to take your first step into a variety of exciting careers in food.

Leiths has an unrivalled reputation in the food industry and the diploma will equip you with the skills, resources, network, and solutions needed to launch a successful career in food and to achieve your culinary goals.

The course will give you the lifetime skills you need for wide-reaching opportunities in the food industry including, but not limited to:

  • professional or private chef
  • catering business operator; delivery, in-home dining services, events and weddings
  • street food business operator
  • food media, marketing and PR
  • freelance work for other caterers
  • food delivery/meal box business
  • supper clubs
  • private chef work; either at home or abroad

You will have the opportunity to meet with our careers advice team Leiths List early on in your course, and we have a student development officer working in-house, so we can help you organise work experience if and when you feel ready.

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 10 week full time course gives students a thorough introduction to cooking techniques for a professional environment and includes a broad base of cooking styles, from an introduction to cooking eggs to mastering shortcrust and choux pastry, meat and fish preparation, methods of baking and desserts.

Over the 10 weeks you will also be coached in best kitchen practice, understanding and following recipes, time planning, menu planning and cooking for large numbers. So that you are ready to cook professionally at any level, you will also gain externally accredited certificates in food hygiene (level 2), COSHH, first aid, and allergen awareness.

You will begin to expand your knowledge of wine too, gaining the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 1 Certificate in Wine.

This course is based around the fundamental techniques which are the building blocks of culinary knowledge, but the food you will cook is a combination of the classics that you would be expected to know, and a wide ranging mix of inspiring international recipes; Leiths students become proficient in the varied and exciting blend of flavours that London is famed for, and current food trends are reflected on the curriculum as it is regularly updated by our expert tutors. Learning not just to follow, but also understand and adapt recipes comes with the confidence students gain on the course. Every technique that you learn will be practiced several times, in a variety of recipes, so that it becomes part of your personal toolbox.

Dividing your time between demonstrations and practical cooking means that you will understand the science behind the techniques, and develop the knowledge and instincts to solve inevitable kitchen mishaps. By the time you are in the kitchens ready to cook, Leiths students will thoroughly understand the processes thanks to the in-depth demonstrations, and have a well thought out time plan of your own making to follow.

Whether taking this as a stand-alone certificate course, or as part of the Leiths Diploma, the Foundation certificate builds fluency in the kitchen, so that students can embark upon their culinary ambitions with confidence in the techniques that open the gateway to creative cooking.

Foundation term skills

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

Foundation term example recipes

Grilled plaice fillets with seaweed butter
Roast sirloin of beef, Yorkshire puddings and fresh horseradish sauce
Soy glazed salmon with hot and sour salad
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


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

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

Business advice

For those considering setting up their own business, Leiths holds career seminars and offers talks on insurance, VAT, business plans, public relations, marketing, health and safety legislation and taxation.

Finding work

Leiths can arrange work experience placements in restaurants, magazines and other food companies for Diploma students. Leiths List, the school's agency for chefs, can also assist students and graduates in finding work.


The first step is to book an informal interview where you can discuss your questions and ambitions with our experienced and approachable tutors. You can call +44 (0)20 8749 6400 to arrange this (take option “Reception”).

Interviews are usually held at the school (16-20 Wendell Road, W12 9RT) but will be managed via Zoom, Whereby or over the phone for now to ensure your safety during the pandemic.

On the day of your interview, you will meet our Managing Director, School Principal or a Senior Teacher. We can offer you a virtual tour of the school, followed by a chat about your previous experience, what you hope to achieve, and a friendly and open discussion to cover your questions about the courses and the school.

Please also use this opportunity to inform us during your interview of any relevant medical conditions and/or specific learning or mobility difficulties that could affect your time on the course.

How to book

Following your interview, our Registrar will contact you by email offering you a place (and setting out any relevant conditional offers). The enrolment form and details will be attached. If we do not think the course is suitable for you, for any reason, we will let you know, and offer alternative advice.

If you then decide to join us, please arrange payment of the deposit and send the signed enrolment form to: Registrar, Leiths School of Food & Wine, 16-20 Wendell Road, London, W12 9RT, UK or email to This will secure your place on the course.

Once these have been processed you will receive confirmation of acceptance via email confirming that you have been allocated a place on the course subject to Leiths terms and conditions.


The total fee for this course and qualification is £10,180 (deposit £1,000).

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.


Leiths can offer you the option to pay your fees in instalments. Please call us on +44 (0)20 8749 6400 or email the registrar at for more information.

Professional Careers Development Loans were withdrawn by the government on 31st January 2019 and as yet, a new scheme has not been announced.

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 most 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.

Uniform and equipment

As a student on this course, you will require knives (£249 – £399) additional kitchen equipment (£130) and course literature (£75).

You are required to wear a chef’s jacket, hat, apron, checked trousers and non-slip kitchen clogs (£100). Instructions and order forms for all required items will be sent before the course begins.


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.

Covid Health and Safety

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.


Leiths Professional Course Price List 22-23 (May 22)

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Professional Student Handbook 2021-2022

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Professional Student Handbook 2022-2023

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Sample Curriculum

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Online Professional Courses

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Leiths Online Professional Courses

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Student Accommodation

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Leiths List (Careers)

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How To Enrol UKVI 2021

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