Plant Based Essential Cooking Certificate: Evening Course

Learn the essential, timeless techniques needed for a lifetime of confident plant based cooking.

Ready to learn the essentials of plant based cooking?

The latest in a line-up of flexible professional cooking courses at Leiths, the Plant-Based Essential Cooking Certificate is designed to teach the essential foundations of professional cooking via an exclusively plant-based curriculum. This practical hands-on course, which combines cuisine and patisserie skills, aims to equip you with timeless culinary skills and techniques so that you can embark upon a lifetime of confident plant-based cooking or a career in the food industry. Our evening format offers the ideal opportunity for those wishing to learn how to cook and pursue their culinary passions outside of their 9 to 5 commitments.

Over ten weeks you will not only gain an extensive repertoire of transferable, practical skills that will prepare you for a professional future in food, plant based or otherwise, but you will also learn how to present food, how to plan your time in the kitchen, including how kitchens are managed, and how to cost menus.

Plant-based food is a fast growing industry. The shift towards more plant based eating has been fuelled by consumer desire to find ways to be kinder to our planet, manage personal well-being and health, and be more mindful of where our food comes from. Chefs, food innovators, and entrepreneurs are tapping in to this trend to drive a rising industry forwards.

For many years, Leiths has worked closely with industry leaders in vegan and plant-based food to deliver enthusiast courses and this collective experience has led to the development of a course which takes the student experience to another level. The best chefs, product developers and street food entrepreneurs in this field have a rounded knowledge of classical techniques to match their enthusiasm for animal-free cooking. Through a combination of learning fundamental culinary skills and a diverse range of recipes, you will develop professional kitchen capabilities, deepen your understanding of cooking theory, and build your knowledge surrounding plant-based cooking. In learning about the role and the science behind the ingredients in some of our favourite dishes, we can begin to understand how we might change and adapt these to suit a plant-based diet.

Leiths has over 45 years’ experience teaching the classics and we’ve combined that knowledge with our love and respect for plant-based, progressive cooking. Your passion for food will be nurtured from the moment you arrive at Leiths. You’ll learn from some of the most skilled and experienced teachers in the industry 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 course will help you towards a satisfying career in food through the development of rounded, transferable cooking techniques and skills, with a specific focus for those interested in plant-based cooking.

Everybody looks up to Leiths to produce the best graduates.

– Yotam Ottolenghi - Chef, Restaurateur & Food writer

Life at Leiths

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Industry Opportunities

The Plant Based Essential Cooking Certificate is ideal for anyone with professional culinary ambitions who is new to cooking, or for the very motivated home cook. Students gaining the Plant Based Essential Cooking Certificate go on to...

  • Work as a professional or private chef
  • Plan and launch their own food business
  • Start or become a chef for wellness retreats
  • Specialise in plant based recipe development
  • 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

Course Content

This course is based on both our Essential Cooking Certificate and our 10 week full time Foundation Certificate with many of the same core skills learnt, but in a shorter length of time and with recipes chosen to suit plant-based diets. 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.

Where possible we will cook seasonally and students will learn to plan their time in the kitchen with a focus on 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
  • Seasoning and Presentation
  • Pastry: shortcrust and strudel
  • Plant-based protein cooking
  • Salads and vegetable cooking
  • Breads
  • Cakes
  • Meringues
  • Sauces: emulsion, flour-based and composite
  • Pasta and risotto
  • Pea, Mint and Basil Soup with Rosemary Foccacia
  • Griddled Asparagus with Lemon Aioli
  • Chilli sin Carne with Spiced ‘Butter’ and Guacamole
  • Cherry Frangipane Shortcrust Tart
  • Apple and Blackberry Strudel
  • Tofu, Baby Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Stirfry
  • Teriyaki Udon with Edamame and Pickled Ginger
  • Chickpea and Cumin Flatbreads

Course Details

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

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 chat. Please contact Reception on 0208 749 6400 to arrange.

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

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. £131). 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
  • A water bottle

Allergies and intolerances

Some students may have specific dietary requirements or allergies which we will endeavour to accommodate.

This course is not suitable for anyone with allergies/intolerances triggered by airborne traces of nut or gluten.

Students do not need to taste everything they cook if they have specific dietary requirements, allergies or intolerances. However it may be necessary to cook with some of these ingredients in order to satisfy the assessment requirements of this professional course.

Alternatives are offered where possible and where a student’s learning will not be affected. You can read more here.


£3,990 (£400 deposit)

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 Registrar, Leiths School of Food & Wine, 16-20 Wendell Road, London, W12 9RT, UK or e-mail to

All remaining professional courses fees will be due at least six weeks before the course start date. We’ll send you an invoice, along with instructions for ordering equipment and uniform closer to the time.


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

Plant-Based Essential Cooking Certificate: Evening Course
Evening Course

£3,990 (£400.00 deposit)

Mon 2 Oct 2023 - Wed 6 Dec 2023     LIMITED SPACES

  • Mon 2 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 4 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Sat 7 Oct 2023 09.30-15.00
  • 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
  • Mon 23 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Wed 25 Oct 2023 18.30-21.30
  • Sat 28 Oct 2023 09.30-15.00
  • 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
  • Sat 11 Nov 2023 09.30-15.00
  • 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
  • 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

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