Leiths new essential book

For those of us mortals who experience fairly regular blanks when crossing the thresholds of supermarkets, Leiths Simple Cookery couldn’t be a better antidote. It teams with recipes which are, as the title suggests, not only simple to create but also involve ingredients that are equally simple to track down.

Compiled by Viv Pidgeon and Jenny Stringer, it’s not strong on photographs but then this isn’t a book that’s meant to decorate the shelves; on the contrary it would be criminal not to use the recipes on a daily basis. Each one is brilliantly set out including those crucial details that are left off so many other books, preparation and cooking time details as well as what can be prepared in advance.

Like many publications from the 32-year old training school, this new book is so much more than a cookery book. It opens with handy chapters confronting catering quantities (who doesn’t struggle with them?), matching wine with food and how to cut a mango. No fewer than 700 recipes follow, from starters to puddings via canapés and baking. While it caters both to the amateur cook (showing which ingredients can be shop bought) it also expands to the more accomplished tastes by providing the purists to make things from scratch.

Leiths School of Food and Wine

Recommended videos for you

Leiths has moved from Kensington to Stamford Brook, W12. The new school provides improved facilities for staff and students, with three large teaching kitchens and a demonstration room, plus an additional kitchen for private hire, which is devoted to bespoke daytime and evening classes, corporate days and demonstrations. In order to provide students with a realistic work environment, there is also a restaurant-style teaching kitchen with state-of-the-art culinary equipment.

Day, evening and holiday courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine

Courses range from evenings for enthusiasts to more committed chefs. The Diploma in Food and Wine costs £16,500 and begins this Autumn. ‘This is aimed at those looking to have a professional career in the culinary world, be it as a chef or perhaps an alternative route such as food styling,’ explains Doune Mackenzie. ‘The Diploma will give students a comprehensive training that will ensure a rounded knowledge of food and a clear idea of current trends.’

Evening and specialist classes (including one on Game which takes place on November 6) also exist and costs start from about £100. All Leiths courses are available to view on the Leiths website