Vegetarians and Culinary School

I had a question from a commenter about the possibility of attending culinary school while maintaining a vegetarian diet and thought I would address it here. I asked the same question of my chef when even I, callous carnivore that I am, couldn’t stand the thought of ingesting any more animal protein after an arduous class featuring forcemeats. She said that many vegetarians do come through the program but that they do so without tasting much of what is being cooked. There are no veggie-alternative recipes in any of the classes so far (beyond suggestions of substitutes for bacon – smoked turkey necks) and I feel like it would be a waste of money to go through school without tasting what you’re cooking. It’s pretty much the point. In higher levels of the program (five and six to be exact) students work in the restaurant L’Ecole, and if on the veg station – entremetier – they will prepare a vegetarian dish each night of their own choosing. It’s one of the few areas of service where students get to exert their own creativity, which is fun and a chance to show off a bit. Other than that and maybe pastry, there’s not a lot of veggie friendly learning.

I may be an avid burger eater, but I am still down with the alternative protein set (I try to feed my vegan friend Amanda monthly- vegans need yummy food too!) so I looked up a couple of places that do vegetarian/vegan/macrobiotic/any other alternative foodie stuff chef instruction:

The Moosewood Collective is one of the most well known vegetarian focused restaurants in the country and they offer chef development classes as well as recipe and menu development courses.

The Natural Gourmet School sounds neat, and while I hadn’t heard of it until now, I recognize some of the alumni, most notably Alex Jamieson, fiance of Morgan Spurlock and of “Super Size Me” fame. Her website is pretty cool too – I might have to go on that Great American Detox Diet after culinary school (I have already gained five pounds – shoot me now.)

Those seem to be the two most reliable looking places in the NY area (that my lazy googling self could find anyway). If any readers know of other spots that specialize in vegetarian or vegan culinary instruction, let me know about it in the comments.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Culinary Arts (D)
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
            • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Italian Culinary Experience
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            Culinary Arts
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid