I’m Jess, chef and owner of Jessica Leah Catering. I’ve been a professional chef for over 18 years now, working in restaurants for 13 of them, and running my own catering business for the last five.
I believe cooking put simply, is about full focus at every stage. If you get complacent on one step, it could cost you the dish, and that’s heartbreaking! The basics are everything, this means properly seasoning and tasting all the way. Also, challenging yourself, that’s where confidence derives from. Ingredients are precious so you need to give them every chance to taste amazing.
Growing up in Malta, my mum was a brilliant English teacher at a secondary school, always finding creative ways to grasp the literary interest of teenage boys and girls – a challenge in itself! Similarly, as a head chef, my challenge was to hire someone to wash pots and get them excited about food, turning them into capable and exciting chefs – now inspiring others.
To me, Margate Cookery School is giving me an opportunity to merge my cooking and teaching skills together, and impart a lot of what I’ve learnt over the years. I’m excited to share recipes it’s taken me years to perfect and basic tips that I still use every single day. I love cookbooks, but to be able to show someone the consistency, the taste, the colour, the feel, the temperature – this is something a book can’t teach.