Vegetarian Culinary Schools

black bean veggie burgerBlack Bean Veggie Burgers

Interested in vegetarian culinary schools for 2017? 

Use our guide to find schools that specialize in vegetarian, vegan, and raw dishes!

If you want your emphasis on healthy cooking, a few schools are leading the way.

This trend has become more mainstream as interest in vegetarian and vegan cooking gains speed. Health spas, resort hotels and retirement communities are just some of the many opportunities for the chef who wants to learn healthy cooking techniques.

Since most schools are not entirely vegetarian, please consult with the Program Coordinator at the school about their requirements for vegetarians as to tasting etc. as this is up to the program and the student.

Prospects of finding vegetarian restaurants is greater in larger cosmopolitan cities and college towns which offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

"..what we eat significantly affects our physical, mental and spiritual well-being..." Natural Gourmet Institute.

The best states for a vegetarian lifestyle are generally considered to be...

  • Los Angeles, California  
  • Boulder, Colorado  
  • New York, NY 
  • Philadelphia, PA  
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota  
  • Portland, Oregon  
  • Salt Lake City, Utah  
  • San Francisco, California  
  • Seattle, Washington 

Vegetarian Culinary Schools:

Natural Epicurean Culinary Arts Academy - Austin

The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin offers one of the few plant-based, professional chef-training programs in the country! Chefs are trained in the following disciplines:

  • Vegan
  • Macrobiotic 
  • Vegetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Raw & Living Foods

The programs are 900-hours long.  

  • Call for class schedules information. 
  • Call for costs, and student and career support information.
  • Open houses are held during the year for more information. 
  • Public classes: Yes

1700 South Lamar Blvd. | Austin, TX 78704 512.476.2276 Natural Epicurean Culinary Arts Academy 

Natural Gourmet Institute - NYC

Natural Gourmet Institute NYC cooking school window

Some training in seafood, chicken and eggs:

The Natural Gourmet Institute emphasizes traditional unrefined ingredients. They offer a Chef’s Training Program designed to prepare students for a career in spas, restaurants, bakeries, private cooking, catering, teaching, consulting, and food writing. 

They also have an enriching public course.

If you're in New York City, try their Friday night vegetarian dinners that are open to the public with meals cooked by their chefs-in-training.

The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts is licensed by the New York State Department of Education. It is accredited by ACCET. 

The Chef's Training program is 619 hours, full or part-time. Plant-based but includes teaching in seafood, organic chicken and eggs.

The Natural Gourmet Institute has a number of famous grads which include Chloe Coscarelli, Amanda Cohen, and Bethenny Frankel.

  • Full and part-time classes.
  • Student, housing and career support--yes
  • Call for information on costs.
  • Public classes: Yes
  • Restaurant-Yes

Natural Gourmet Culinary School - Building and NYC Street Scene:

Natural Gourmet Institute, 48 W. 21st St | New York, NY 10010 - 212.645.5170

Natural Gourmet Institute

Vegetarian Culinary Schools with Vegetarian and seasonality emphasis:

The New School of Cooking - LA

The New School of Cooking offers a 3-day, 9-hour Basic Vegetarian course and specializes in seasonal cooking with local food. It also offers recreational cooking classes

Los Angeles has a very health-conscious culture. You can find fresh fruits and veggies year-round at the many outdoor markets and this encourages a vegetarian life style. Vegetarian restaurants are increasing. A great place to learn cooking and baking in their state-of-the-art kitchens. 

They have part-time classes to fit any schedule suitable for people who are still working and cannot attend a full-time schedule. This also makes the cost more reasonable.

  • Daytime, weekend and Evening classes. Part-time professional classes.
  • Student and career support-call for information.
  • Due to part-time structure, costs are less than full-time programs. Call for cost information. 
  • Recreation classes: Yes

8690 Washington Blvd | Culver City, CA 90232 310.842.9702

The New School of Cooking 

Vegan Culinary Academy - Napa

In beautiful Napa Valley, California - Plant-based culinary program accredited by American Culinary Federation - both raw and cooked food - being beta tested for online instruction - current 1000-hour apprenticeship programs. 

Vegan Culinary Academy Apprenticeship Program   

Community College:

Secchia Institute for Culinary Education

At Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan. Not solely vegetarian but focus on vegetarian cuisine (please verify). 

Degrees in Culinary Arts or Culinary Management and certificate programs in Baking and Pastry Arts or Personal Chef.

Learn to run a restaurant, be a caterer or put on a banquet--just some of the skills you can learn in the culinary programs. 

Semester system--2 years for degree. See Program Director for options to transfer guidance.

The Heritage Restaurant serves sophisticated meals for the public prepared by students with modern and classic styles. Not exclusively vegetarian menu. Also there is a student bistro of deli and bakery delights. 

  • approximately 35 classroom hours per week
  • Student and career support-call for information.
  • Cost information on website 
  • Recreation classes: No

151 Fountain NE | Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Program Director: 616.234.3696

Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College

Other vegetarian culinary schools that may be of interest:

The Professional School of Natural Cookery:

Plant-based school in Boulder, Colorado. Teaches cooking without using recipes. The idea being you need to create meals with ingredients that are on hand. Boulder is a college town and known for being veg-friendly. 

They have a 16-week diploma professional foundational course, a 4-week certificate personal chef course, a teacher training course as well as non-professional cooking classes and online classes called "The Main Course." 


The Professional School of Natural Cookery

Maharishi University School of Management

falafel takeout

Not a culinary school but a college with vegetarian dining hall and ideals. There is a degree program in Physiology and Health.

Fairfield, Iowa 52557 | 641.472.7000

Maharishi University of Management

Living Light Culinary Institute is a raw and gourmet culinary school in Fort Bragg, CA. Some of their 2018 classes include: 'Ethnic Flavors in Raw Plant-based Recipe Development', 'Raw Plant-based Gourmet Spa Cuisine', and 'Elegant Raw Plant-based Entertaining'

Living Light Culinary Institute
301-C North Main Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 964-2420

Don't miss this related page about short-term public cooking classes for vegetarians:

Vegetarian Cooking Classes

› Schools for vegetarian cooking