Wednesday, 02 April 2014 01:58

Join an Online Plant-Based Cooking Class With Whitney!

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Do you find yourself dining out too often because you don't know how to make exciting food at home? I can relate. Almost every day I question whether to go to a restaurant or a grocery store for pre-made food, or wrangle up ingredients in my kitchen and make a meal from scratch. I know the latter is most cost effective, likely healthier, and more sustainable than eating out, but sometimes I'm just lazy! Time gets in the way, and on busy days I dread how long a good meal takes to make (and clean up). Plus, I often crave specific flavors from a chef-made meal that I'm not sure how to reproduce at home. It's for all these reasons that I decided to take an online cooking class, and since I suspect you're in the same boat.

It was during Expo West this past March when I first learned about Rouxbe. I was excited to be at a talk by chef Chad Sarno, who I have admired for some time now due to his work with Kris Carr. He gave a beautiful lecture about being part of the health movement to help Americans thrive. Here are some of my favorite bullet points from his presentation:

chad sarno rouxbe expowest

The Problem:

  • The average American eats a variety of only 19 fruits and vegetables in their life - it is an overfed yet undernourished nation.
  • You can either set yourself up for success or failure - "genetics loads the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger."
  • Our diets are sacred, thus many people are terrified of changing. Other fears include lack of confidence, time, accessibility and affordability.
  • Most people are lacking cooking fundamentals and basic knowledge (like how to cook beans and grains properly).
  • In the food service industry it is rare to hear the words "chef" and "health" in the same sentence. Many chefs don't want to learn about special diets, and are reliant on fat, salt & sugar to make food taste good. It's a matter of what we want to know vs what we need to know.
  • Culinary educators have a responsibility to either add to the problem or add to the solution. Chefs have responsibility to take the reins because they are the key holders of health; the modern chef is a well(ness) versed chef. 

The Solution:

  • Chad says that he is "not pushing vegan" but is instead "pushing plants" and increasing nutrient density through whole foods.
  • He suggests approaching veganism from a place of abundance instead of a lack mentality. ie "we can do xyz" instead of what we can't do. "Look how easy it is, how fun, how delicious!" Plus bringing in elements of camaraderie and accessibility.
  • It's also important to set people up for success by teaching them how to cook and prep food hands on.

chad sarno rouxbe

With all this in mind, Chad felt compelled to be part of the online culinary school Rouxbe, which is on a mission to:

  • Build an army of plant-based educators
  • Empower people to take control of their health and wellness. 
  • Demystifying cooking by understanding the basic skills and foundations

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Rouxbe works by guiding students through the process of making food by unlocking secrets to the kitchen and helping them understand what chefs know. It may be as simple as explaining how to open your fridge and make a meal with what you have. And it works! When I mentioned the course on social media a former student sent me this beautiful testimonial:

It is giving me more confidence in the kitchen, exposing me to foods I hadn't tried before, teaching me how to make some of my stand by recipes more appealing and flavorful and by the time I am finished with the course I will have learned many new cooking methods that were not previously part of my cooking experience. Not to mention just having more food knowledge.

Another person said:

I have a life time subscription to their lessons, best money I spent - they are a great school, and offer amazing tutorials. The quality is unmatched in any medium besides hands on.

After reading these words from people within the Eco-Vegan Gal community, I felt extra excited about my decision to enroll in Rouxbe's plant-based course. If you're starting to feel inspired, here are some more details:

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What is Rouxbe?
Founded in 2005, Rouxbe ("ROO-bee") is the world's leading online cooking school. Rouxbe offers instructor-guided certification cooking courses for cooks of all levels using intuitive learning technology. Courses can be taken on demand, at your own pace. Rouxbe can be found in the kitchens of homes, schools, restaurants and professional culinary academies with over 120,000 users currently, in over 178 countries and in 16 languages. Over the years Rouxbe has captured a traditional culinary education curriculum online and now will put their stake in the ground with plant-based education.

Rouxbe and Wellness
With hundreds of culinary technique videos and whole food based lessons, Rouxbe is diving head first into the health and wellness realm, as this is the driving principle of the company. In addition to the Plant-Based Professional Certification Course, Rouxbe just launched the Doctor and Patient Healthcare Portal that will allow physicians and healthcare professionals and their patients to access wellness-based culinary content to help support health and lifestyle changes through food and cooking. A series of mini-courses will be launched through this portal that include topics such as Healthy Eating for Families and Kids, Cardiovascular Health, Diabetes Health and more. Check out the: Rouxbe Wellness Page for more information.

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Plant-Based Course Details

- The course is lead by Chef Chad Sarno who worked with Kris Carr on her latest book "Crazy Sexy Kitchen". There are a few other instructors as well.

- The food photo montages seen on this page are just a few examples of the many mouthwatering recipes you will create during the course.

- The course is split into 5 parts, which each have lessons and quizzes/assessments to make sure you're absorbing the info. A quick summary of the parts:

  1. Guide for shopping and equipment, basics of plant-based nutrition and debunk some misconceptions around plant-based diets.
  2. Kitchen basics, knife use, basics of different cooking methods 
  3. Building and developing flavors, using herbs and spices to enhance dishes
  4. Culinary techniques for oil, salt and sugar restricted and gluten free diets.
  5. Introduction to raw food, including dehydrating, fermenting, and sprouting; Entertaining and cooking for a crowd.

More info is on the syllabus page.

- When the course is completed, each student receives a professional certification!

Graduates from this course will form part of an elite group of professionally trained culinarians and wellness specialists needed to address the global need for plant-based educators in many sectors (healthcare, professional cooking, insurance, nutrition/wellness, and food product development).

- Video is a huge element of the course, and there are weekly live seminars for interaction with the instructors, which is an amazing resource.

- The course starts on May 15th and you can go at your own pace for as long as six months.

- It will take about 120 hours to complete. Think 4 to 5 hours per week, 20 hours per month. 

- If you're unsure about whether you can commit to it, sign up for the 7 day free trial to try before you buy.

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Read 12468 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 13:02