Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Okay so I have started Leiths now finally! I have now finished my third day there! On the first day it was basically just an induction day, so we received the usual spiel on school rules and how the course would work and so on.
On the second day I got in for 9:15 set up my locker and got ready for our first dem by Claire the school principal. She mostly repeated what we heard on the first day in greater detail. Towards the end of her dem she showed us a few techniques in presentation, saying that Leiths is about unfussy, but professional presentation. She showed us about portion size in contrast to the plate, and to the other foods. Claire also explained how using centre height and odd numbers on the plate automatically daws the eye to it and makes it look more attractive. This could also be achieved through diagonal lines as the eye can see symmetry very easily. We were also shown a very contemporary technique with scallops, which I thought looked like the bottom if the sea! Most of the students preferred the most classic technique.
In the afternoon we got to try out our knives for the first time, and I have never used such amazing knives! They were just so sharp it was a delight to slice veg with them! We chopped up some carrots into batons, diced, julienne, and matchsticks. Then we thinly sliced some celery, sliced and chopped onions, and chopped and crushed some garlic with our knives! I thought that the garlic was particularly cool, you have to finely chop it, then pour some salt on top and then smush it with the flat of your blade! We got to take all of this home, so I made a lovely vegetable soup with it!
On the third day we had a dem with Sue Nixon who is the resident expert on eggs! I have to say I did not believe that there was so much to learn about eggs, but today I was proven wrong! She showed us how to make a proper omelette, so that the centre is baveuse and the omelette is pale in colour, and soft in texture, and it really did make the world of difference! She made baked custard which was good but it formed a horrible skin on top which I didn't like! She also made scrambled eggs on toast, mayonnaise (but I have already made this so many times so it wasn't that interesting) egg mayonnaise, and she nappered the egg, which was cool! She also made creme anglaise which she says she curdled but I would never have been able to tell, but I suppose I will learn to!
In the afternoon we made crudités and humus, which involved cutting more veg, but making the humus was fun! Our class teacher Michael said it was really a seasoning exercise. Ours was a little spicy with the cayenne pepper, which I was worried about, but didn't know how to fix. When it was tasted Michael said that if we had added a little bit more lemon it would have levelled this flavour out a bit, so now I know! We then did an arranged fruit salad with strawberries, kiwi, and grapes with a mango orange and passion fruit coulis! This was mainly a presentation exercise, I have to say I thought that mine looked awesome until I saw everyone else's and realised it looked like a 5 year old had been let loose in the kitchen! I do know that presentation is something I really have to work on though, so I will have to try harder next time! There will be some pictures to follow as soon as I get hold of them, so stay tuned!!

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