A plant-based diet is a healthy culinary option that continues to grow in popularity, and as diners and the foodservice industry gravitate toward more nutritious, inclusive and delicious dining options, there is a growing demand for plant-based cooking education. Whether looking for a diploma or certification focusing on plant-based cuisine, there are many resources and opportunities available for chefs to expand their knowledge on plant-based cuisine and develop the skills needed for this growing trend.
Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts
Students in Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts Plant-Based Culinary Arts diploma programs get a strong foundation for a career in the Culinary Arts with a plant-based focus. Novices and experienced chefs alike will enjoy learning the fundamentals and methods of plant-based cooking, basic ingredients to have on hand in a plant-based kitchen, tools, meal composition, seasonal menu planning, cultural plant-based cuisine, food safety, allergen awareness and traditional ingredient substitutions. The program also supports the importance of farm-to-table principles with a focus on nutritional benefits, sustainability, ethics and biodiversity. This program is made up of plant-based courses, industry-focused courses and a six-week externship to provide students with a well-rounded education. In total, the program takes 60 weeks to complete. The Plant-Based Culinary Arts diploma program offers online courses taught by knowledgeable and credentialed chef instructors and includes a variety of learning opportunities for students through lecture and lab activities.
Le Cordon Bleu
Le Cordon Bleu is a well-known culinary school that trains some of the best and most skilled chefs worldwide. While there are locations around the world, the three-month Plant-Based Culinary Arts diploma program is only offered in London with an intake in either the winter or summer. This course begins with the basics of plant-based meal prep and takes students throughout different stages of cooking, all with a plant-based theme in mind. Although no experience is necessary, current chefs who want to expand their menus and skills can also apply. This diploma focuses on crafting excellent dishes solely from plants, providing a creative repertoire of product knowledge, skills and recipes. Within the program students will explore a wide range of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, grains and pulses, gaining expert knowledge on ingredient varieties and innovative culinary uses. The program has been designed to provide specialized culinary education for the growing demand for vegan, vegetarian and plant-based restaurants and products.
The Institute of Culinary Education
The Institute of Culinary Education’s new Health-Supportive Culinary Arts program offers a holistic approach to plant-based, nutrition-minded cooking with a focus on whole foods and wellness. This new career training program promotes nutrition, wellness and sustainability with a vegetable-forward curriculum inspired by the Natural Gourmet Institute. The Health-Supportive Culinary Arts program consists of 632 instructional hours, with locations in both New York and Los Angeles. Students are in the classroom for 432 hours and then complete an externship over the course of 200 hours, acquiring real-world experience in the culinary field. To provide flexibility, the program runs several schedule options for the Health-Supportive Culinary Arts diploma, including morning, afternoon and part-time schedules with options to meet from two to five times per week.
Rouxbe Cooking School
The plant-based nutrition program by Rouxbe provides online courses for students who want to learn more about vegan and plant-based cooking. The courses guide students through practice recipes, exercises, instructional lesson content, along with focusing on core techniques, raw methods, as well as no oil, low sodium and gluten-free options. Some courses to take include Essential Vegan Desserts, Professional Plant-Based Course, Professional Cook Certificate and more. All courses are 100% online and available 24/7. While the course can be completed at a student’s own pace, students should be expected to spend 12-15 hours per week and must complete the course in nine months with a grade of 75% or higher to earn a Certificate of Completion.
The plant-based trend has taken hold of the culinary industry due to health concerns and sustainability. Embracing the plant-based trend can seem intimidating and push chefs out of their comfort zones, but as more and more people are turning to plant-based diets, it is crucial for clubs to appeal to more of their members and offer more plant-based options on their menus and for chefs to be comfortable in doing so.