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Meet Your Mentors
Ali Young

Ali Young

Community and Mentor Manager


Having spent 11 years at the chalk face, teaching Drama in secondary schools, I embarked on a complete career change by completing the Leiths Diploma. I had the most amazing experience and immediately following the course, began working as a chef in restaurants.

Alongside this I started a small business with private catering, pop-ups, supper clubs and teaching private cooking lessons to adults and young people, which eventually became full time. I always felt Leiths was my home, and when the chance came to work there as a teacher I jumped at it.

I have been teaching at Leiths School of Food and Wine since 2018 and I am also part of the Leiths Online Cookery team.

Quickfire Questions

What is your most pivotal food memory?

When I was about 17 I took a day boat with my family in the Sound of Mull. We caught a few fish but we also collected langoustine from the pots that had been laid the day before. We cooked them in sea water on the boat and I can still remember the flavour and how magical that day felt.

If you could prepare a meal for anyone, who would it be and what would you make?

Do you do all the cooking at home?

Almost all of it! I often have a 3 year old ‘helping’ me these days. My husband is a better cook than he thinks, but he doesn’t get much of a chance - cooking is both my hobby and my stress relief, as well as my job.

What do you think is the most challenging ingredient to work with and why?

The first thing that comes to mind is salsify… a vegetable I love to eat but hate prepping, especially for large numbers.

Is there a bit of kitchen kit you couldn’t live without or you are particularly attached to?

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