Hello friends, its been a while I know…

I can’t really explain my absence other than to say that I just got a bit caught up in life really! I’m sure you have all had a brilliant start to the year. It feels like Christmas was literally yesterday and yet here we are, basically in May, which is 5 months down the line. Half a year (almost) gone already, and I’m not sure quite where…

Wow, did the intermediate term fly by! I know they say time flies when you’re having fun, but if it could take little old me into consideration, and perhaps be a little more understanding that *I DON’T WANT LEITHS TO END*, that would be just fab.

Sadly, time waits for no man (or woman for that matter), and we continue to pelt through the months at breakneck speed, with rising anxiety that real life is just around the corner.

We have quite a nice life at Leiths really. Start about 9.30 am, cook for a few hours, snaffle down some pretty darn good food you knocked up this morning for lunch (todays feast- sous vide eggs, griddled asparagus with truffle oil and parmesan shavings, as well as pan fried scallops, pickled mooli, radishes, and peanut,coriander, lime and chilli dressing), go for a coffee, have a chat, wander back to class and watch some of the most talented and hilarious people you know (aka, the Leiths teachers) show you how to do some pretty cool stuff. Then you pack up, go home about 5pm, and do pretty much what you want for the rest of the day (usually going out for dinner (educational purposes of course), drinking wine as part of your ‘revision’ for the upcoming wine exam, or leafing through the most amazing recipe books, writing up your portfolio).

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I think I speak on behalf of the rest of our year when I say, you kind of get caught up in the Leiths bubble, and are dreading the shock to the system when you actually have to go to work after this delightful little jaunt finishes in June. Help!

I love this place from deep within my heart, and feel incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to be able to follow my dreams (cheesy as it sounds).

Recently, I have assisted on a food styling shoot for Country Living Magazine, spent a week at the BBC Good Food magazine offices, won the Belazu Ingredient Company ‘Ingredient is King’ competition, securing my place on a trip to their Olive groves in Italy in the autumn, staged at The Artichoke (remember my favourite restaurant I absolutely raved about a few months ago? this one… Artichoke. yeah?), and worked behind the scenes at Saturday Kitchen (before James left *weeps*). Yep, I suppose thats where my time went! Its been pret-t-y crazy over the last few months, but also so, so much fun. I’m trying my hardest to make it in the world of food magazines and styling, and its not the easiest industry to get into, but its my absolute dream job.

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My winning dish for the ‘Ingredient is King’ competition. Freekeh arancini, stuffed with Balsamic pulled chicken, with an Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil salsa verde, and black pepper mascarpone

I’m actually the happiest I’ve ever been. And that’s not something to take for granted. But doing something I love, living in a place I love, working hard, and investing time in some pretty special people has really paid off.

Anyway, enough soppiness. Lets talk about FOOD.

This weeks topic is food in relation to drink. Now, our lovely lecturers at the Wine and Spirits Education Trust would like to think I am about to start writing about the ideal food accompaniment for an Australian Shiraz, or perhaps the aromas in a Pouilly-Fume that are similar to ingredients we might use in a kitchen. Or perhaps the perfect champagne to accompany a sweet strawberry (yes, we actually did this on Monday by the way).

Sadly, WSET, I’m going to have to let you down here. Im actually talking about food in relation to being drunk, rather then delicately sipping at (delicious) fine wines.

The other night, I was out for a friends birthday, and we spent it happily singing away to some karaoke in a pub in Fulham. Now, anyone who has ever returned home from a night out knows the inevitable munchies that come alongside alcohol consumption, and the inevitable peril of having insufficient supplies for such an occurrence. Not so on this fateful evening. Having returned from pub in the early hours, I found myself raiding my fridge, and munching on possibly the most ridiculous drunk snack ever, something I had made in class earlier that day.

I mean, who can honestly put their hand up and say:

‘oh okay, you’ve got me on this one. I too have consumed tea-smoked mackerel, beetroot and orange cured salmon, scandinavian rye bread, sweet dill pickled cucumber and horseradish and vodka creme fraiche at 2am after a night out. Don’t worry Liv, you’re not alone on that one’.

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It was great, I tell you. I mean, I felt a bit stupid, utterly middle class, and food-snobby, but it hit the spot.

Actually a similar thing happened the week before. You know the drill- we went and watched the rugby, it all started off innocently enough with a few pints of cider in the early afternoon, but by 3am, we were in need of some sustenance, and something to soak up the vodka that inevitably followed the cider after we somehow found ourselves on a dancefloor in Clapham yet again.

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What else does my best friend pull out of the fridge, but a slab of perfectly layered, soft and creamy, cold Potatoes Dauphinoise that accompanied our pancetta wrapped lamb just a few days previously?

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Hilarious. Talk about #Cheflife. Again, surprisingly satisfying at such a time!

I’m not actually a raging alcoholic by the way. I swear.

 

Hope its a great weekend for you all, foodies. Remember to stock your fridges with something delicious if you’re planning on hitting the town this weekend… You won’t regret it!

Love and drunken hugs

L

xxx

(More updates and catch ups soon, I promise!)

 

 

 

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