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Discovering all aspects of gastronomy with Louise Leverett, HEG alumna

Interview with Louise Leverett

In a context of constant change, Louise wanted to better understand the aspects that gastronomy covers. As a writer and working in the hospitality industry, she decided to take part to the Advanced Studies in Gastronomy (HEG) programme, which allowed her to broaden her skills in the history of gastronomy, sociology, human sciences, and chemistry. She explains how her work benefited from it.

What is your professional background?
I have worked in the hospitality industry for over ten years in some of the world’s most exclusive private members clubs. I then went on to be a part of the opening team at a fantastic restaurant in Covent Garden called ‘Louie’. As I mentioned, aside from this I am also a writer. My debut novel ‘Love and Other Things to Live For’ was published by HQ at Harper Collins.  

Why did you choose the HEG programme?
My goal was to educate myself more in all aspects of the industry under the term ‘gastronomy’. As I look around, I see that our industry is changing and innovating at a dramatic rate, on a global scale. As I move forwards in my career, I feel that an in-depth knowledge of all departments is vital to understand and embrace the challenges and contributions that each entity will face.  

What is your favourite memory?
By far, my favourite experiences were with the speakers themselves. Being fortunate enough to be taught by the three-star Michelin chef Pierre Gagnaire, Hervé This and Éric Briffard was the highlight for me. They are all masters in their profession who have changed the course of our industry through their skill and creativity. To witness this bond first-hand was truly inspiring.  

What did you like the most?
The trip to Reims was an experience that was completely new to me. I’d never been to Champagne before and to be learning within the agricultural setting was fascinating. I am a great lover of nature and believe that sustainability plays a huge part in our industry’s future. To be amongst the vines and to hear about all the work that is being done at the UNESCO Heritage Site, spoke not only to my professional interests, but also my passions. 

What were your expectations?
My expectations were more than met within the course. Naturally, I knew that the education and expertise I would receive would be of the highest calibre, but the tutors and fellow candidates were so supportive and welcoming. It was the optimum environment within which to learn.  

How HEG will help you in your job?
My participation in the course has given me a greater understanding of all aspects of gastronomy. By expanding my expertise, it will help me to be a part of the conversation, to engage in how we are evolving, and enable me to navigate my own way. In terms of my writing, which looks at humanity and observations of the world, gastronomy is a huge part of this. The course has provided me with a historical context that enhances my ability to portray this in an authentic way.  

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