Find out how the Professional Chefs’ Diploma adds to your knowledge

Posted on the 2nd March 2018

In January 2018 we welcomed through five experienced professional chefs to the Vegetarian Society Cookery School. They were all eager to discover new ideas to create delicious dishes for vegetarian (and vegan) menus and make veggie options that people keep coming back for.

We caught up with these hungry chefs to find out why they came to the Vegetarian Society Cookery School, and to see how they got on…

“Get here and be open to ideas”                                                                                                        

Murray, 64, runs his own pub in Salisbury. Looking to take the Fox and Hounds to new culinary heights, Murray said: “I came here to further my knowledge and understanding of vegetarian and vegan food and menus and to enhance my business opportunities.”

We asked him if the Professional Chefs’ Diploma had changed his approach to vegetarian cooking – “yes!” – he said! Murray said he had gained more attention to detail of product ingredients – helping him prevent cross-contamination, improve the nutritional balance of his dishes, and of course add new improved vegetarian recipes for my menu.

When asked what he’d say to those considering getting their diploma, he said: “Get here and be open to ideas. You will have fun and learn loads. It’s a small and interactive learning course – very positive.”

Murray said “The recipes and techniques I found the most inspiring were gluten-free baking, and curries – African, Caribbean, Asian and Indian.”

“Get inspiration for vegetarian cooking as it is a growing business”

Hubert, 34, is a Senior Culinary Development Chef at Kraft Heinz from Nijmegen in The Netherlands. He told us: “I chose to come on this course to get inspiration for vegetarian cooking as it is a growing business.”

Asked how the Professional Chefs’ Diploma changed his approach to vegetarian and vegan cooking, he said the five-day intensive programme gave him more inspiration, adding: “It’s good training with many different recipes and different cuisines.”

Hubert said he would recommend this experience to everyone: “It’s good fun, informal but very informative.” He said he is most looking forward to trying out different types of curries he learnt and making tofu…

“I feel more confident about using new ingredients”

Marlie, 65, came all the way from Bermuda to expand on her Kingston House B&B menu, which is currently raw vegan.

She was keen to pick up more vegetarian and cooked options to serve to her customers. She said coming on the Professional Chefs’ Diploma has really helped with this. “I can include more cooked options and I feel more confident about using new ingredients and spices,” said Marlie.

When asked if she would tell others to come to the Vegetarian Society Cookery School and check it out for themselves, she said: “Yes, definitely do it!”

She listed some of the dishes from the diploma that inspired her in the kitchen. These included “making meringues with bean juice, making tofu, lovely desserts, wholesome casseroles, gluten-free options and bread making.”

Marlie said the five-day programme exceeded her expectations: “I was able to learn more in a relaxed setting, with a small group of chefs and considerable personal instruction from the head tutor.”

“Endless ideas and new techniques”

Matt, 42, came from Henley because he wanted to improve the veggie options at his work: He decided to do the diploma after receiving a recommendation from a colleague who came on the Professional Chefs’ Diploma last year, and Matt wasn’t disappointed.

Matt told us the course had changed his approach to vegetarian cooking, offering him “endless ideas and new techniques”. Matt also said he’d tell everyone to come and discover just how much they could learn at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School.

“The Vegetarian Society Cookery School Principal Tutor, Alex, was kind, helpful and knowledgeable”, said Matt, who he told us he was most excited to get in his own kitchens and make bread, pizza, cookies and a whole host of new vegan dishes.

“It was a great experience”

Na Young, 37, travelled to the Vegetarian Society Cookery School all the way from South Korea! She wanted to get all of the tips, tricks, recipes and skills that can make good veggie cooking taste great.

“Na Young told us that this course has very much changed her approach to vegetarian cooking in less than a week, learning “many new ways of cooking from starters to desserts”, which she hopes to use in her new venture in setting up a vegetarian food business in South Korea with her siblings.

She also said she would highly recommend this course to everyone, for the opportunity to pick up so many new ideas about vegetarian and vegan cooking that can be used professionally to grow a business. Na Young, who told us she was most inspired by gluten-free and egg-free cooking, said: “it was a great experience.”

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