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Kate Took a Two-Week Cooking Course at Leiths

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It has been revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge has been using some of her quiet time to indulge in cooking classes at Leiths in West London. The Telegraph reports:
Rachel Khoo, the television chef, has just let slip that she undertook a two-week basic course at Leiths cookery school with her, and, what’s more, helped her to get through it with flying colours.

“Kate was in my class,” says Khoo, who starred in the BBC Two cookery show The Little Paris Kitchen. “Kate was ill for a few days, so I took notes for her. She was a lovely person, but she kept herself to herself.”

Khoo was reluctant to be drawn on the comments she makes in Woman magazine, but courses at Leiths do not come cheap. A two- week course of the kind that Kate undertook at the school in west London normally costs around £1,600. Her sister, Pippa Middleton, chose by contrast to undertake a cookery course at the Grange in Frome, Somerset.
 Leiths offers professional training, but also courses for "home enthusiasts"which is the category I assume Kate was in:

Kate has enjoyed cooking as a hobby for years, which isn't surprising when you consider her mother's reported domestic perfection, and of course Pippa's similarly inherited interest in cooking and entertaining.

In their engagement interview, (you can see the clip here, the video will start at the cooking discussion) the couple briefly touched on the kitchen. Kate teased William that he liked her for her cooking and his quick response was that her cooking wasn't all that good. Knowing William's humor, that probably means her cooking is quite competent. He went on to reminisce about making meals for Kate early on in an attempt to impress her, and finally admitted that more recently his skills have not been improving, to which Kate pointed out she didn't give him much opportunity to practice.
While on tour in Canada, the royal couple visited the Institut de tourisme et d’hotellerie du Quebec where they interacted with the students and tried some cooking themselves. One student chatted with Kate:
I asked her if she liked to cook at home. She said she likes to cook, but does not do fancy things. She more makes big batches, throws a few ingredients together, trying new things.

Welsh Directory

In a 2012 Vanity Fair article, Katie Nicholl reported that not only does Kate like to cook, she also enjoys making her own sausage and a spot of canning:
In the evenings she indulges her hobby of cooking William’s favorite supper, roast chicken. They are reported to own a sausage-maker, and she has started making homemade pots of fruit jam while her husband is at work. (She gave strawberry jam and plum preserves out as Christmas presents last year.)
At the time, the couple were living a very private and secluded life in Anglesey, and I am sure that gave Kate more time than ever to indulge in more domestic interests.

In 2013, while pregnant with George, Kate supposedly was getting some cooking instruction from her housekeeper, Antonella Freslone.  Antonella had come to Kate's household after 13 years at BP where she cooked fantastic Italian meals. Kate spent some of her gap year studying in Italy and enjoying the local cuisine, so she was sure to have loved having Antonella around to snag some tips. Through her royal status, Kate has been able to meet various talented chefs and cooks at various events. In 2011 she met celebrity chef, Giada de Laurentiis who created the meal the royals enjoyed at the polo match in Santa Barbara. Giada specializes in Italia cooking, as well.

So, that's the scoop. Kate is taking more cooking classes and William just gets luckier and luckier...  I think Kate enjoys cooking, I think she is very health conscious and one of the best ways to eat healthily is to make your own food--that way you know everything that you are consuming, and lastly, I think it is so important to Kate that she hold on to aspects of normal life, and real living. She is anxious to maintain a family lifestyle she recognizes. Food is certainly central to a family life, as you gather around the table to share stories and common time. As Kate raises George and whatever other children she has, I am sure that mealtime will be very special to her and to the development of the future monarch.


  1. The remark by Rachel Koo about Kate being ill for a few days?
    Rumors are that she is pregnant again, and has the same sever morning sickness.

    Other than that, it is great to see she continues to be interested in increasing her knowledge of cooking skills.
    Enjoying food and making delicious food are both fun.

    1. Hi Constance,

      the pregnancy thing also came into my mind - presently heavy rumours, even in the german press.... Although I normally ignore headlines like that, this time I think they could be true. I think they don't want to wait too long for a second child, Kate is over 30 and they have every help they need with George and their household. So, why wait? We'll see.....

      @Jane: You always impress me. Do you have all these past things in mind or do you research on a current topic? Incredible post! I loved it! Thank you!

    2. Hi Constance: well, I have been reading the pregnancy rumors. While a stopped clock is right twice a day, I pay little attention to the pregnancy stories, because I think we will either know almost as soon as Kate if she has real trouble as she did last time, or they will very successfully keep it quiet until they are ready to officially announce, in which case, those predicting pregnancy who just happen to be lucky enough to coincide can take some victory, but.. I believe it to be luck. :) I am not arguing they are waiting, and I expect it won't be too, too long. I hope not too long! :)

      Vicky, thank you! :) So far, my memory is holding fairly strong. We shall see if that continues... ;) Thanks for reading and for your comments, as always!

  2. I get the impression Rachel and Kate took this class together many, many years ago. Why would an accomplished chef like Rachel take a basic 2-week cookery course?

    1. I also got the impression from the Daily Mail article that Rachel had taken the course with Kate sometime ago, perhaps not years, but definitely several months ago. Yes, there are copious rumors at present, but there always are, and this may be true, but I don't think the article about her being sick for a few days at this cookery class can be taken as any kind of confirmation. Just my opinion!

    2. Regarding the years earlier idea; I think not. The papers claim it was within the last year, and frankly I believe them. These sorts of stories don't really surface years, and years, and years later without it being stipulated that they are old. Had she taken it as Kate Middleton, before her marriage, we would have had more press. Kate has been afforded a greater deal of privacy and respect since becoming a Duchess. Rachel may have wanted a refresher, her training is in pastries, so she may have wanted to spruce up in cooking...hard to say, but certainly it would have been part of the story had this been way back in the day. While I cannot say with absolute certainty, I think we can be pretty confident on this point.

  3. I also believe this class to have been a while ago- if you note, Kate's hairstyle is even a bit shorter than her recent cut, and much shorter than it had been before that. Also, I zoomed way in on that second picture, and I don't see her "eternity ring" she began wearing post-George. I highly doubt she'd wear the large fancy engagement ring, yet leave the eternity band at home. [Side note: I always find it interesting to see when Kate does or does not wear her engagement ring "off duty"].

    All that said, I do think the Cambridges will be expecting soon. They have appeared so much more lovey dovey in public as of late (in my opinion).

    1. Pictures where Kate is cooking were taken during their first tour in Canada, not during mentioned cooking lessons. That is why Kate does not have eternity ring. As far as I know there are no pictures available from the cooking course.
      I also think that now the pregnancy rumours can be true. Let's wait and we will see. :)

    2. The photos in this blog post are from Quebec Canada where they had a cooking aspect to their 2011 royal tour. :-)

    3. I am sorry for the confusion on this! It should have been clearer in the post. I headlined with the picture of Kate cooking from her tour of Canada because we have no pictures of Kate from the Leiths class. I should have made that clear in the post.

  4. Kate seems so eager to please. She wants to be the perfect wife and mother. And who could blame her for that? She is safe and secure in her marriage (William seems to really care for her) and has the freedom to live out her fairy tale life.

    1. Certainly she seems eager to do as she wants. Quietly confident increating the life she chooses regardless of external pressure. I agree, William obviously loves her very much and supports her in whatever plans she makes. They make a very happy and contented little family. :)

  5. I think it's more probable that this cooking class happened even before they got married. Rachel has been a professional chef for years now so why would she be in a cooking class? Quite absurd. But then again, it's the Daily Mail. My take is that the DM just wants to re-hash their "3 kitchen" nonstory from a few weeks ago ( which they did in that DM article) and just tried to present it in a new light with the cooking class story. Lazy journalism.

    1. Well, actually, this was not just the Daily mail, it was the Telegraph and a lot of other sources that tend to be reputable. I have not seen the original story from Woman, but if there is no stipulation that it was early stated in that piece, it was not. Even without seeing the earlier post, I believe this was more recent. Rachel studied pastry making, so while she is a successful chef, if you will, she may very well feel like a course in cooking at a prestigious school could be beneficial. I can't really judge all the reasons she may have wanted to take the class, but I think it highly unlikely this was more than a year ago. Stories like these tend to come to light within a year, or it is stated to be old. Certainly if it took place years ago before Kate was a royal, we would have heard about it already. She has more privacy for things like this now as a duchess than she did as Kate Middleton, Royal Girlfriend. That's my take. I would like to see the original article, but I very much doubt this is that old.

    2. In the actual article Rachel states it was a while back, as in several years ago. DM and the others glossed over that part, likely to fit into the kitchen story.

  6. Yes, they are in love!

    That's is clear!

    If new baby is on a way, Happy many times!

  7. Hey Jane I know you said earlier you don't really follow tumblr so I wasn't sure if you had seen these or not so I couldn't resist! George was seen out with Nanny Maria in the park! Such an adorable little hat and those chubby cheeks I can't get enough.

  8. Friends of mine, a married couple, once took a short cooking course on French cuisine. Result? I was treated to a fantastic meal and, better yet, to a copy of the recipes they had taken on their course. I still use these, years later.

    I rather suspect that this is the sort of course Kate may have taken; i.e., she may have had an interest in Japanese, French, Italian food which she wanted to explore.

    William is indeed a lucky man; he married a woman who is more than adequate in the kitchen. Saves money, too. Kate would be much cheaper than any chef.--Question: Would women from the British aristocratic class be prepared to do the same, or would they expect/demand to be waited on?


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