Alternative cooking schools

A guest post by Brian Jenkins

Are you interested in becoming a professional chef? There are numerous quality culinary arts programs to choose from, including programs which focus on healthy cooking. Besides cooking techniques, many of the programs also teach the business aspects of the profession. Training at a prestigious culinary school increases your chances of succeeding in the traditional food service industry.

The nation’s top culinary schools include Le Cordon Bleu, The Culinary Institute of America, and the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University.

While those schools focus more on gourmet European cooking techniques, several institutions have made their mark with alternative food preparation from both inside and outside the U.S. Most emphasize healthful, healing, or animal product-free cooking. Here are a few schools offering this kind of culinary education.

Living Light Culinary Arts Institute

This institute provides a 35-day “Gourmet Raw Food Chef Training” program which includes the science behind preparing raw and vegan foods. Students learn to make tasty and nutritious organic raw food. Living Light Culinary Arts Institute offers an Associate Chef series. The school is located in Ft. Bragg, California.

Natural Gourmet Institute For Health & Culinary Arts

This school is located in New York City and provides a chef training program. The classes offered deal with holistic and vegetarian cooking, and many focus on ethnic specialties. Students learn the basic cooking techniques for a wide variety of health-supportive foods. Students become familiar with numerous approaches to diet and nutrition and gain an understanding of the criteria for quality food selection.

The School of Natural Cookery

The school’s motto, “Where Culinary Art Meets Healing Whole Food,” should give you an idea of what this school is all about. Students learn plant-based cooking skills and much more. In this unique program, students learn to cook without recipes and with whatever ingredients are available. The school, which is located in Boulder, Colorado, offers two different programs: one for the professional chef and one for the home cook.

Natural Kitchen Cooking School

A unique Chef Training program offered at the Natural Kitchen Cooking School teaches nutritional approaches to food preparation. The program is designed to show students how food can support a radiant level of health and wellness. The program covers the various important aspects of vegetarian natural foods cooking. The school has campuses in Mercerville and in Haddonfield, New Jersey as well as one in New York City.

The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts.

This school offers a 900-hour, plant-based, professional chef training program. Students learn theory and practice in the disciplines of vegetarian, macrobiotic, vegan, raw and living foods, and ayurvedic cooking. The program also requires students to get some hands-on experience outside of the classroom through an externship. The school is located in Austin, Texas.

The vegetarian and vegan culinary field is a growing sector within the culinary arts industry as the demand for vegetarian and vegan dishes continues to grow. There are a growing number of opportunities for professional chefs trained to cook healthy dishes. Now is a great time to go back to school and get the skills needed to make yourself more marketable. You should certainly spend some time researching culinary arts programs (as well as financial aid options) to find one that’s right for you.

Brian Jenkins is an expert on a number of different career fields, including careers in culinary arts. Brian has been writing for since 2008.


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