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How Do I Choose the Best Vegan Culinary Schools?

Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
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When evaluating vegan culinary schools, it's important to think about your intentions in studying vegan cooking, a school's reputation, and whether the school's program is something that fits into both your budget and personal schedule. The criteria for choosing a school can differ widely between those who wish to learn how to cook for themselves and their families and those who wish to pursue a professional career in the culinary arts. Be aware that, depending on where you live, you may have difficulty finding a culinary school that offers a dedicated vegan cookery program. Still, with some persistence you should be able to find the training in vegan diets and cooking that you seek.

Although vegan culinary schools are not as common as standard cooking schools that teach students to cook with both animal- and plant-based foodstuffs, it is possible to receive vegan culinary training from a variety of sources, including private classes, apprenticeships, and workshops. In some cases you may be able to find a school that offers courses in vegan and vegetarian cookery and that may even permit you to take additional electives in these areas. If the school requires students to participate in an internship before they can graduate, you should ask a school's admissions representative whether any vegan restaurants are approved student internship sites. An internship under a vegan chef can be a most beneficial learning experience and may even increase your chances of employment after graduation.

If you do find some vegan culinary schools in your area, you should still investigate the school's reputation and whether it will actually prepare you for working in a commercial kitchen. For example, many professional culinary schools include extensive training in food sanitation, storage, and hygiene. Without this training, you may be at a disadvantage when competing for jobs with those who have training and certification in these areas. Of course, there are ways of addressing this kind of problem. If a vegan school does not offer kitchen management or sanitation training, you may be able to take these courses at another school, such as a community college.

Be sure to ask about tuition, fees, and financial aid. Vegan culinary schools that are accredited may be eligible to participate in financial aid programs. Another thing to find out is whether the school offers job placement services, and it is also important to ask about how many students actually find cooking jobs after graduation. Finally, review the scheduling options for all of the vegan culinary schools that you consider. If you can't make your course schedule fit with your current responsibilities, it is unlikely that you will be able to complete the program.

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