Learn how to become a successful plant-based chef
The trend towards adopting a plant-based lifestyle has gained significant momentum in recent years, driven by a growing awareness of the environmental impact of our dietary choices and the desire for a healthier way of living.
London, being a diverse and dynamic city, has become a hub for those seeking to explore the world of plant-based cuisine. Learn what plant-based cooking is, the types of dishes you can make and which plant-based cookery school in London is the best to hone your culinary skills and become a successful plant-based chef.
What is plant-based cooking?
Plant-based cooking focuses on creating delicious, nutritious meals primarily using ingredients derived from plants. This style of cooking eliminates or minimises the use of animal products, including meat, dairy and eggs. The essence of plant-based cooking lies in harnessing the natural flavours, textures and nutritional benefits found in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Key principles of plant-based cooking:
An abundance of colourful produce
Plant-based dishes are known for their vibrant colours, indicating a rich array of nutrients. Including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables not only enhances the visual appeal of a dish but also provides a broad spectrum of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Different types of unprocessed plant proteins
Lentils, beans, green peas, grains, mushrooms, nuts and seeds are sources of quality protein that are central to plant-based cooking. These ingredients are versatile and can be prepared in numerous ways to mimic the textures and flavours often associated with animal-based proteins.
Using whole foods that are minimally processed is a fundamental principle of plant-based cooking. This includes choosing whole grains and unrefined oils, and avoiding highly processed substitutes. Whole foods contribute to the nutritional density of the dish and promote overall health.
Balancing flavours and textures
Plant-based cooking celebrates the diversity of flavours and textures found in plant ingredients. From the crunch of fresh vegetables to the creaminess of plant-based sauces, achieving a balance in taste and mouthfeel is essential for a satisfying culinary experience.
Types of plant-based dishes
- Grain bowls are wholesome and filling, combining a variety of cooked grains like quinoa, farro or brown rice with an assortment of colourful vegetables, leafy greens and tasty dressings.
- Delicious salads go beyond simple greens. They incorporate an array of ingredients like roasted vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits, often accompanied by protein sources such as beans or quinoa.
- Veggie burgers made from ingredients like black beans, chickpeas, lentils or mushrooms provide a satisfying alternative to traditional meat-based burgers. These can be complemented with a variety of fresh vegetable toppings and homemade sauces for added flavour.
- Hearty soups and stews are loaded with vegetables, legumes and whole grains, offering a comforting and nourishing meal, especially in the cooler months. They are simple and easy to make, and you can cook batches to freeze for a later date.
- Creative plant-based pasta and noodle dishes often feature tasty sauces made from vegetables, herbs or nuts. Courgette noodles (made with a spiraliser) or legume-based pasta offer alternatives to traditional wheat noodles.
- Plant-powered desserts using ingredients like almond flour, coconut oil, nuts and seeds include indulgent treats like avocado chocolate mousse, fruit-based sorbets and nutty energy bites.
Plant-based cooking course – what do you learn?
CNM’s Vegan Natural Chef Diploma stands out as a one-of-a-kind chef training dedicated to cooking vegan and plant-based foods. Unlike conventional chef courses, this programme not only imparts the skills needed to create gourmet meals at a professional level, but also emphasises the use of fresh, organic, seasonal whole foods that promote health.
What makes it truly unique is the focus on the therapeutic and nutritional value of food. Recognising that no single dietary regime suits everyone, students are guided on tailoring individualised food plans to enhance overall well-being. This holistic approach is what sets CNM’s vegan natural chef course apart from other chef courses. There is also an online natural chef cooking course for those who don’t live locally.
If you’re looking for plant-based chef course that offers a hands-on learning experience to develop chef skills in the kitchen and learn how to prepare a diverse range of plant-based dishes, this is the course for you.
You will learn:
- How the body works and the role that food plays in influencing body systems, especially digestion and gut health.
- Nutritional knowledge and the health benefits of different plant-based ingredients. Understanding the nutritional aspects of a plant-based diet is crucial for maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
- The art of food combining and why it’s important for digestion.
- Food safety, kitchen cupboard essentials and the principles of sustainable and ethical cooking. This includes incorporating eco-friendly practices into the kitchen.
- The energetics of food and why eating according to your constitution is important.
- Using different flavours, culinary techniques and presentation skills to enhance your dishes.
- Essential kitchen techniques and knife skills to maximise the nutritional benefits of your plant-based creations.
- Practical skills in recipe costing and scaling so you can optimise menus for profitability without compromising on quality.
- Therapeutic menu planning and using food as medicine which allows you to tailor dishes to different health conditions such as gluten-free and allergies.
- Business planning and marketing training to gain valuable insights into the business side of becoming a plant-based chef. This equips you with the knowledge and skills to build a successful career in the industry.
- Food photography and styling to help you showcase your dishes and build your personal brand.
- Guest chefs and industry experts share their real-world perspectives, knowledge and insights.
- Connect with a vibrant community of like-minded individuals, fostering relationships with fellow chefs and professionals in the culinary world.
- Stay abreast of the latest culinary trends and innovations, ensuring that your plant-based creations are at the forefront of the evolving food landscape.
- Continuous learning and professional development with resources and opportunities to stay engaged and continually enhance your expertise beyond the course.
Plant-based chefs are in demand
Fuelled by a global shift towards healthier living and sustainability, the demand for skilled plant-based chefs is soaring. Whether you’re drawn to the creative exploration of flavours or the desire to contribute to a healthier, more sustainable world, now is the perfect time to embark on a journey as a plant-based chef. The diverse opportunities, growing consumer interest and global culinary movement collectively shape an exciting landscape where plant-based chefs can not only showcase their talents but also play a vital role in shaping the future of gastronomy.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a plant-based chef, register for the next Open Event.