Student Stories: Dominika Fisakova on her Leiths Online Experience

Dominika Fisakova, originally from the Czech Republic, is a chef in a small village pub. With two Leiths Online courses completed, she has big plans...

Dominika Fisakova on her Leiths Online Experience

Dominika Fisakova, originally from the Czech Republic, is a chef in a small village pub. She started as a kitchen assistant and has worked her way up to chef. Before enrolling with Leiths Online, everything Dominika knew about cooking, she had learned in-house. Now, with two courses completed – and her two-day Chef Skills accreditation done and dusted – she has one eye on her immediate career plans and another on her dream of owning her own bakery business.

I am the chef in a small village pub. I started out just washing up and helping in the kitchen.

Everything I learned was in-house. I wanted to do an online course to improve my skills and get a qualification. Somebody told me Leiths Online was really good, so I took a look and thought, yes, I’ll try it. I did Chef Skills and Introduction to Patisserie. Because it is online, I could do it on my day off or any time during the week or even take a break one week. It’s very flexible. 

I definitely learned new dishes on Chef Skills, more Asian dishes which I have never made before. I also learned new methods and techniques. For example, pasta; I know how to do it but when I make it with the Leiths Online method, it tastes much better. With a written recipe, you read it and do it task by task but if you watch the video, you can really see exactly how they do it.

I would love to have my own business, something like a bakery shop, in the future.

I really enjoyed Introduction to Patisserie. That’s something I want to concentrate on more. The main thing I wanted to learn was baking with fresh yeast and proving. Before, when I used yeast it was really hard to know when the yeast had risen enough. I use some of the patisserie techniques at work now but would love to use even more in the future when I have my own business. I work full time and am doing a management apprenticeship at work too. I’d like to do Essential Bread and Patisserie too, but at the moment I’m quite busy. Maybe next year!

My colleagues love tasting my baking.

They basically love all the sweet stuff! I usually take what I make to work for my colleagues to test. Their favourites were the chocolate cake and the macarons. When I make something they’ll say ‘this is the best one’, then the next week I make something else and they say ‘no this is the best one!’.

You can literally just ask your mentor for any advice and they give really good feedback. I like to concentrate on vegan options and lower sugar recipes and I like playing with the ingredients. I could ask my mentor if it’s all right to cut sugar in a recipe or swap ingredients and she’ll tell me why it will or won’t work.

I did the two-day Chef Skills assessment in London because I wanted to finish and have a full qualification. I loved it. Everyone was stressed about managing everything in the time but we all really enjoyed it. There was a good atmosphere. I met my mentor who was able to give me feedback face-to-face and to try my dishes, not just have a look at the picture.

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