It’s exactly two months since I last wrote a blog for Leiths. Where is the time going? Why is it going so quickly?! Help! I don’t want this journey to end!
Yes, I have had a ‘Meltdown Monday’ (who hasn’t?!), I have also had many a ‘Terrific Tuesday’ and ‘Wonderful Wednesdays’ aplenty! Now I have totally settled in, I have met so many lovely people and we all have one common interest – FOOD…and lots of it! We eat it, we breathe it and don’t stop talking about it. It’s great to meet people who have as big a passion about food as I do. I am learning a lot from them and I hope the feeling is mutual.
This week, myself and three of my classmates, had to cook for fifty students at Leiths. It was a great exercise – lots of meticulous planning was involved and it was essential that the four of us came together as one. We smashed it on every level, even if I do say so myself! The food was great and the four of us molded together to give a great lunch, great service and the students were asking us for the recipes after the meal! What more could you ask for? The dynamic of the group was top notch!
Admittedly, we did have a bit of a nightmare but it made us even more determined to do well. The supermarket from which we ordered all the food, never delivered the night before, so the morning of the lunch we were up and out the door at 6am, shopping for various foods at 24hour supermarkets. I was running up and down the aisles with a trolley like a contestant on ‘Supermarket Sweep’! We eventually got it sorted and pulled it out of the bag!
Just to make you salivate, we made the following: flatbreads, tzatziki, root vegetable slaw, beef and lamb meatballs with broad beans and a Middle Eastern spice mix called ‘baharat’, followed by orange and almond cake with mascarpone cream, all washed down with fresh mint tea. The aromas, as you can imagine, were out of this world!
On Wednesday we had a cheese lecture, and my oh my, was it delicious?! I was delirious after sampling so many cheeses for three hours. The main man, Tom Badcock, was such a character – so eccentric and so knowledgeable – he knew EVERYTHING there was to know about cheese and made the lecture so interesting. Hopefully I will cross paths with him again on my journey through this crazy food world!
Thursday, we were lucky to have a lecture from sisters, Ana and Sanja Morris, who set up the Salt Yard Group and LeCoq restaurant in Islington. It was fascinating to hear how they broke into the culinary world. We sampled some lovely dishes, from artichoke salad to pistachio and rhubarb tart. And yet again, I walked out of the lecture thinking I’m learning more and more about this industry – vital information which I can take with me, edging me closer to my dream life with food.
Mmm…dreamy, black currant ice cream, brandy snaps and raspberry coulis was the lesson for Friday. Not one to shy away from a dessert, this was the perfect end to a great week. Knowing how to make ice cream is something I will use again and again, and it’s so simple, yet so yummy! It was such fun and I can’t wait to use my new skills to conjure up a variety of flavours at home!
As you can see, the variety of what I learnt this week has been so diverse. Leiths is a slick operation that has a knack of teaching you things that you simply can’t and won’t forget. Leiths teaches you how to think like a chef, and taste like a chef. I am already looking forward to next week’s menu, which consists of delights such as apple sorbet with caramelised apples, hot cross buns, and the infamous Leiths canapé party. Woop…can’t wait!