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The Best Way to Become a Vegan Chef

Vegan chefs have their work cut out for them: They must disprove the notion that vegan food is bland and boring, and create recipes without the assistance of meat and dairy. Many chefs can attend a culinary school, but the meat-heavy curriculum can isolate vegans. Because no specific training is available for vegan chefs, they usually succeed based on their reputation. Vegan businesses tend to operate on a grassroots level, so be prepared to engage with the vegan community either online or within your city.


Pinpoint Your Objectives

  • Becoming a vegan chef happens once you proclaim yourself as a chef. The real question is how you wish to offer your skills. Vegan chefs work in the delis of natural stores like Whole Foods. They can own their own restaurants and cafes, and others work for vegan businesses in the community. Some chefs focus exclusively on catering, making cookbooks, or being a personal chef. Determine which field fits your personality and skill level.

    Vegan Chef Alex Bury stresses the importance of strong social skills: Success in the culinary world is not just about cooking skills, but also means making business connections. She says the culinary community is very small; chefs remember one another. The vegan community is even smaller.

Create an Arsenal of Recipes

  • To brush up on your techniques for handling certain foods, such as tofu, seitan, and agar, grab a vegan cookbook or look online for recipes. Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbook, "Vegan with a Vengeance," is well known for its simplicity of ingredients and tasty recipes. Once your confidence increases, begin improving upon the recipes. Maybe a barbecue tofu dish could use some mango and lemongrass for a Thai flair.

    Take favorite meat or dairy-based dishes and create delicious vegan alternatives. Try to make ice cream with silken tofu, or a hamburger burger using textured vegetable protein.

    Cookbook authors tend to publish to a common demographic as well. Create a cookbook geared to college students, children or parents. Take meticulous notes when experimenting: If you ever write a cookbook or otherwise publish recipes, your measurements must be exact.

Get Experience in the Industry

  • To get work experience, identify vegan businesses in your neighborhood. Apply as an intern or as a cook, or offer to be a purveyor of vegan products for coffee shops and cafes. Hone your skills making vegan baked goods or light, easy snacks like hummus. Leave your business card and brochure in these places, offering your services as a caterer or personal chef. Attend vegan potlucks or host them to showcase your skills to the community. These guests could be a customer base.

Build Your Reputation as a Chef

  • Build a website explaining your services and skills as a chef. Write a blog about vegan food and the vegan lifestyle to get exposure. One vegan chef, Bevery Lynn Bennett, builds her reputation by being a columnist for "VegNews" magazine. Offer a few free recipes and provide contact information. Make YouTube videos of vegan cooking demonstrations. Once you become established in the vegan community, you will build a fan base of followers who will endorse you as a chef.


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