Getting Schooled in Vegetarian Cooking
Chef Beverly Lynn Bennett, known through her writing as the Vegan Chef, has a high opinion of the healthy food she makes. "Eating vegan doesn't have to be boring," she says. "In fact, it is the most exciting way to eat!"
Vegetarian and vegan chefs come to the profession looking for less reliance on animals and processed foods, alternative health in the form of macrobiotics, or simply an alternative to traditional restaurants that have few options for diners who choose not to eat meat.
Vegetarian Chefs in Cooking School
While the goal of culinary school is to introduce students a wide range of unique tastes–which typically includes meat--vegetarian cooks can learn plenty from these cooking classes. Courses in food safety, sanitation, and restaurant management are a bonus to all aspiring chefs, regardless of the food they prepare.
Some of the nation's best vegetarian chefs have attended a culinary institute or cooking school, including:
- Lee Gross
Chef de Cuisine, M Café de Chaya
Before landing in Hollywood's famous M Café, this chef needed an education. Lee received classical culinary training and chose to focus on the macrobiotics, traditional cuisine, and alternative health techniques that make his cuisine famous.
- Ron Pickarski
President & Executive Chef, EcoCuisine, Inc.
This entrepreneur was the first vegetarian chef to be certified as an Executive Chef by the American Culinary Federation. Now that he's a culinary school grad, Ron makes nutrient-dense, low-fat foods for foodservice operators and chefs hoping to cater to a vegetarian clientele.
Before you decide to specialize in vegetarian cooking, research a few culinary programs and cooking schools in your area. Though no degree program will guarantee you a specific career, a quality education can be a giant step in the right direction.