Australia has launched its first course for vegan chefs, and is attracting international talent

Following on from the Institute of Hotel Management vegetarian course that is being introduced this academic year in India, Australia also has some news in the world of plant-based culinary education. On the 6th August, 7 vegan chefs graduated from the first full Vegan Chef and Lifestyle Training course. The Mayor of Byron Shire, Simon Richardson, presented certificates. As the name implies, it is aimed at people who want to become vegan chefs and is the only such course available in Australia at present.

Vegan chefs from across the world are flocking to Australia

Up until now, it hasn’t been easy for vegan chefs to train as they still have to learn around meat and animal products. It is no wonder, then, that the course has already attracted people from not only a broad area of Australia, but from other continents too. Located in Byron Bay, one of the most developed areas in terms of organic and ethical food with a supportive community and monthly farmers markets, the course has seen students fly in from Europe and Japan. Fortunately, the produce used hasn't made such long journeys, with 100% being organic and sourced as locally as possible. The 7 students now have big plans to embark upon their own businesses – some aspire to have cafes, one hopes to start up a food truck, one is going to work in the health industry educating people on their diet, whilst two will begin catering businesses.

What does a vegan chef course involve?

So what exactly is this course? Well, it is hosted by the Vegetarian Cooking School and its founder Veet, who is also owner of Veet’s Cuisine.

Veet's Cuisine hosts the first vegan chef course in Australia

Veet's Cuisine hosts the first vegan chef course in Australia

It consists of  9 modules which can be completed over any time span from 6 months to 2 years, as the student chooses.

Modules in the course

The nine modules are as follows: a foundation module; raw food; Ayurveda; macrobiotics and wholefoods; fermentation; dietary requirements; menu planning; advanced baking and gourmet vegan; work experience and graduation.

The students have been fortunate enough to learn a range of expertise from sourdough baking to homemade pasta to vegan wedding-cakes… All in a day's work, eh?

A vision for a more vegan Australia

With regard to her vision of the cooking school, Veet explains “in Brunswick Street, Melbourne, there are three vegetarian and two vegan restaurants where people line up for up to an hour in order to get a table and people travel for hours to go to a vegetarian restaurant in the tiny town of Milton. There is no reason why there cannot be an ethical vegetarian café or restaurant in every town in Australia”.

The website states that the course is aimed at prospective chefs who want to join “the fastest growing market in organic and ethical food”, or equally those interested in doing it for their own personal development.

Whilst the training unfortunately cannot be accredited in any way without the involvement of meat, it does boast to offer an extensive understanding of vegetarian vegan cuisine, giving people the confidence to set up a business or be an expert in the field within the chef community. You can check out Veet’s Cuisine on Facebook to see photos from the current course, which is now taking place. Warning: if you aren’t hungry now, you will be afterwards.