Just 18 months after its launch, the inaugural cohort of students to undertake the prestigious Leiths Certificate in Food and Wine at Truro School are celebrating exceptional results.
Truro School is one of only 22 schools in the country to offer the prestigious Leiths Certificate in Food and Wine, under the Leiths Academy scheme. From mastering basic culinary skills to perfecting the art of professional cookery, the Leiths programme is about achieving perfection, using high quality ingredients, prepared, cooked and plated to the highest standard.
This year’s results included seven Distinctions, five Merits and a Pass. Zoe Mead particularly impressed the examiners with her culinary abilities and scored an amazing 90.99%, receiving a special Leiths Book Prize.
The course is run over two years, in addition to A Levels, and alongside providing a popular enriching experience and ‘skills for life’ for all who have participated, it is also classified by the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality as a Level 3 course, accruing valuable UCAS points. Graduates are eligible to join the ‘Leiths list’, to secure elite private catering opportunities across the world for holiday, gap year or career breaks. One of this year’s cohort, Connie Hatcher, is already discussing some exciting opportunities with Leiths, as personal professional chefs are now in high demand.
Attention to detail is a large part of the assessment criteria with students needing to prove that they can work calmly under pressure in a professional kitchen. As part of the course, the students hosted a luxurious canapé and champagne cocktail party for invited special guests. They have also been tasked with preparing dishes such as a trout en papillote with a beurre blanc and sweet potatoes roasted with bay and orange; homemade tortellini with tomato and basil salsa, parsley oil and garlic foam; and a dessert tasting plate including vanilla cheesecake, raspberry coulis and jelly, meringue cuite grissini and a quenelle of home-made ice-cream. The course is assessed throughout and culminates in a series of practical and written exams. This year students had to show their prowess with a number of complex skills including how to fillet sole and make goujons, trim a rack of lamb and roast with a herb crust and pan fry the perfect steak to serve with a Bearnaise sauce.
High achievers are able to apply to Leiths School of Food and Wine for a place to go on to study their prestigious full diploma in London. We are particularly proud this year as one of our first cohort, Davey Ellison, not only achieved a Distinction but has been accepted to go to Leiths next year to begin his journey towards becoming a recognised Professional Chef. We look forward to following his career towards becoming a ‘new name in food’!
Maria Taylor, Head of Cookery at Truro School commented: “We are absolutely thrilled with the group’s results. They are a talented and enthusiastic group who have worked really hard to achieve the results that they deserve. We are looking forward to welcoming our new intake of 20 students in September, and to many more years of success training Cornish students to become exceptional Professional Chefs. ”
“It’s amazing how much I’ve learnt over the past two years doing Leiths- at the beginning I remember struggling with a soup but now I’m cooking dinner for my family every night! From crème brûlée to honey-glazed duck breast, fresh pasta to trout en papillote with a beurre blanc sauce, I’ve loved the variety of both the dishes and the skills that I’ve learnt. Cooking is now something that I can do to relax- thank you to Miss Taylor and everyone at Leiths who has helped along the way!”
“The Leiths course has not only taught me an amazing variety of skills, it’s also been great fun. I’ve learned everything from baking bread to preparing a rack of lamb (a lot of lamb!). It’s helped me to be able to cook simple meals at home and complex menus for dinner parties. I have loved every minute, and thank Miss Taylor and AJ for such an amazing experience.”
“Besides the obvious skills gained, one of the aspects of the course I valued the most was the fact that it was something different to normal A Levels and school. The fact I had a scheduled practical lesson where it was hands on and active meant it was a welcome change from the classic A Level lessons and a chance to practice new skills.”
“I am really pleased I did the Leiths Introductory Certificate of Food and Wine. While there were challenges at the start and throughout the course, I enjoyed every aspect from filleting fish to baking cakes. These skills I know for sure I will use throughout my life. I am over the moon to achieve a distinction but this of course would not have happened if I didn’t have the support of all the staff especially Maria and AJ so I am very thankful for everything they have done.”