Cooking and baking has become a passion for many over this last year of home confinement, while other veteran home chefs have developed a deeper appreciation for the simple comfort cooking provides. But inevitably you may hit a wall where your skills cap and you need a little extra help, a little extra guidance, to get you to that next level. A cooking course can help you build your culinary confidence, while learning new skills and refining old ones.
One of the unexpected benefits of the necessary pivot we’ve all had to take, is that a lot of classes that we’re formerly only offered in person are now accessible online on a global scale, and many are very reasonably priced. This list is probably only a small sample of what may be available out there, but these are certainly some of the best!
Fran Costigan’s Essential Vegan Desserts
If your more into sweet than savory, and really want to up your plant-based desert game, than this 90-day online course might be right up your alley. Led by renowned pastry chef, cookbook author and industry veteran Fran Costigan, this course covers key equipment you will need, and will help you to master a wide variety of vegan desserts including pies, cakes, tarts, cookies, mousses, gels, trifles and sauces. There is over 100 hundred hours of course material, which you can go through at your own pace, and the cost is $399.99.
Happy Pear Courses
If you’re not yet familiar with the David and Stephen Flynn, the delightful Irish twins behind The Happy Pear, these courses are a great introduction to the dynamic vegan duo. What began as a vegetable stand and cafe in Greystones, Ireland has since evolved into a substantial empire of TV appearances, podcasts, branded food products, best-selling cookbooks and online courses. There’s courses that cover cooking and baking, but there’s also several that are geared to specific health results (Happy Shape, Happy Gut, Happy Heart, Happy Skin). They are varying lengths and varying prices from 150-300 Euros, which is pretty affordable, and you can be assured that with these brothers you’ll be getting excellent value for your money
Forks Over Knifes
Forks Over Knifes is more than a popular documentary. Since the film debut in 2011 it has expanded its advocacy to other platforms excluding cookbooks and an extensive database of plant-based recipes available for free via their website. But they also offer a 90-day cooking course taught by world renowned chefs and educators that will teach you a variety of techniques and how to cook more than 100 recipes. The cost is $349.99, though it’s on sale right now (May 2021) for $249.99.
Brownble is an invaluable resource for aspiring vegan chefs. They have a growing catalogue of instructional videos (400+) plus support guides, kitchen tips and more. General membership is $11.99 but they also offer a specialty cheese making class for $119, and Breakfast and Brunch course for free. There are a few sample videos on the side if you’d like a literal and figurative taste of what they offer.
Wicked Healthy is an online community started by plant-based enthusiasts Derek and Chad Sarno. They’ve a large recipe library with some really innovative and tasty ideas (Chipotle Sausage Cornbread Cobbler? Yes, please), but they also produce cooking demo videos that are available completely free on their YouTube channel – can’t get a better deal than that! They also have a whole series of plant-based cooking videos just for kids.
Food Future Institute
If you’re looking to tackle the more elevated, fine dining aspects of vegan cuisine, Food Future Institute’s courses are certainly a good place to start. The brain child of celebrity chef, Matthew Kenney, Food Future Institute’s module-based courses are taught by a stellar line-up of culinary experts and cutting-edge chefs, including Kenney himself. This is a fairly new institution so there’s only two classes available at the moment – Foundations, Phase I and FFI home – but more are on their way. The Foundations course is $350 and the FFI Home course is $300.
Veecoco (*this is an affiliate link. I may earn a commision if you make a purchase from Veecoco using this link)
With more than 600 lessons and 17 different online courses, Veecoco might be the most comprehensive database of plant-based cooking classes on this list, and you’re unlikely to find this many specialty classes elsewhere. Pastry essentials, Classic Italian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Artisanal Vegan Cheese, are just a few of Veecoco’s offerings and new courses are added regularly. A monthly membership is $35 USD, or you can save $100 dollar and get the yearly options for $297.
The Vegan Chef School
If vegan cooking isn’t just a hobby for you and you want to pursue it as a career, the Vegan Chef School offers an accredited vocational course that is geared towards getting students their start in the plant-based food industry and working confidently and competently in professional kitchens. In addition to cooking techniques and recipe creation skills, this course covers things like how to source ingredients, complying with Food Agency Standards, how to cost recipes, and how to run a kitchen. The online course can be completed in as little as 3 months or as long as 12 months and a new one starts every 3 months. The cost of the course is 900 Pounds (Around $1550 Cad).
Udemy isn’t specifically for cooking lessons. You can find courses for pretty much anything on Udemy, but a quick search for Vegan Cooking Classes returned 2177 results. Users can rate and review the courses, so you can a pretty idea of the course’s quality beforehand. There courses are individually priced and the cost varies but can be as low as $13.99 CAD.
Catskill Animal Sanctuary Cooking Classes
The Catskill Animal Sanctuary is a farm animal rescue in New York’s Hudson Valley and, as one might expect, they do a lot of vegan advocacy including offering plant-based cooking classes online. The classes are run live on zoom and run 90 to 120 minutes, but recordings are also included if you enrol. You can check the calendar on their website to see what courses they are currently offering as it varies week to week. Prices vary but are usually around $50 per course – very affordable.
Spork Foods was started by sisters Heather and Jenny to share their passion for vegan cooking. They are based in Los Angeles and do plant based menu design and catering, and several of their recipes are available on their website, but courtesy of the internet and zoom you can join one of the classes from wherever you are in the world. The classes are $30.
Vegan Gastronomy Culinary Academy
Vegan Gastronomy Culinary Academy was founded in 2013 and bills itself as one the leading and largest plant-based cooking schools in the worlds. It is based in Greece and if you ever have the chance to travel to Chora, on the idyllic island of Naxos, taking one of their in-person classes would be a must for any plant-based travel enthusiast. Though you won’t get to experience the sights, sounds and ocean breeze of the Aegean Sea, they also offer online courses in dessert, pastry, cheese making, and more. The cost of the courses is a bit on the high side (250-500 euros) but these are intended to be substantial courses. They also have a one year certified vegan chef program for 750 Euros. Check out their YouTube where they post some free content, and also a look at their online store (Free From That) via the link on their website, where you can buy some of their proprietary products and mixes.
Many vegans are probably already familiar with Miyokos Creamery, the plant-based cheese line started by “Vegan Cheese Queen” Miyoko Schinner, but the charming and talented entrepeneur also posts cooking videos via her YouTube and Facebook Channels. You can learn how to make things like Unturkey, Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits, Cinnamon Swirl Bread and much, much more and of course the content is all free!