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How Do I Become a Vegetarian Chef?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

An interest in the culinary arts does not always have to involve cooking meat. You can become a chef who works at an exclusively vegetarian restaurant, or you can start your own restaurant that caters only to vegetarians. Some culinary schools will help you become a vegetarian chef by training you to cook only vegetarian dishes, while other culinary schools may have certain courses designed specifically to teach techniques for cooking non-meat dishes. If, however, you do not want to enroll at such a school, you can secure employment at a restaurant to learn the skills necessary to become a chef on your own.

Several types of vegetarians exist, and if you want to become a vegetarian chef, you will need to be able to cater to all of those sub-categories. Some people who fit this category, for example, do not eat any meat but will eat eggs and cheeses. Others will not eat red meat but will eat fish. Some people will not eat any meat or products that come from animals; these people are known as vegans, and they can be somewhat more difficult to cook for. You will need to do a bit of research into cooking techniques that will accommodate each group if you want to become a vegetarian chef.

Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad, a vegetarian dish.
Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad, a vegetarian dish.

Enrolling in a culinary school is perhaps the best route to become a vegetarian chef, though it is also the most costly. It is likely that you will learn how to cook meat dishes during your education as well. This will make you a more well-rounded cook and will make you more marketable as a job candidate, though it may not fit your desires for a career. There are several vegetarian culinary schools, though they tend to be much smaller and more limited in course offerings. If you choose to attend one, be sure it is a reputable program that is accredited and affordable.

A vegatarian dish.
A vegatarian dish.

Developing a passion for cooking, and more importantly, for vegetarianism, in your daily life is perhaps the most important step to become a vegetarian chef. Practicing your cooking skills at home is a great way to learn new techniques that will prepare you for a career. You can try to get a job in a kitchen at a restaurant, and you should be prepared to work your way up through the ranks; you may get hired as a dishwasher, but with some patience and diligence, you can become a chef after some time.

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    • Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad, a vegetarian dish.
      By: James Cohen
      Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad, a vegetarian dish.
    • A vegatarian dish.
      By: Marco Mayer
      A vegatarian dish.
    • A vegetarian chef.
      By: Kurhan
      A vegetarian chef.
    • Vegetarian chefs working.
      By: CandyBox Images
      Vegetarian chefs working.