Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

A Taste of the First Plant-Based Cooking School

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

A Taste of the First Plant-Based Cooking School

Article excerpt

Most professional chefs have come to believe that vegetarians must put aside their lifestyles and beliefs in order to make it through culinary school. To pass all the courses, a student must learn the proper preparation of meat, and to cook it correctly, he must know how it tastes. The king of culinary styles, haute cuisine, a style of cooking developed in France, relies heavily on the use of eggs, dairy, and various meats and meat products. Though it is no longer the industry standard, it is the basis from which several other cooking styles, including nouveau cuisine and much of the uniquely American "fusion" cooking styles have evolved. For a chef to earn the highest honors, he must eventually learn to perfect the various arts of haute cuisine, and must be able to taste his work along the way.

No longer is such a compromise necessary. Excellent vegetarian restaurants, such as the renowned Greens, in California, and the Moosewood Restaurant, in New York, have received national acclaim and produced popular meatless cookbooks. They appeal to the larger public and, according to one study conducted by the Baltimore-based Vegetarian Resource Group, more than half of all restaurants and many restaurant chains seek to provide some meatless meals for the growing number of health conscious and vegetarian consumers. Finally, as part of this massive nationwide movement away from meat as a necessity for fine dining, North America has seen the opening of the first organic plant-based culinary organization with a reach beyond the United States.

Chef Albert H. Chase, Jr., founded the Institute for Culinary Awakening as a way to teach those interested in food preparation that the meat-based diet so typical in the United States had "catastrophic health implications." Chase was trained in the traditional way, at the Culinary Institute of America in New York through 1979. He combines his 25 years of classical culinary arts experience with more than 10 years of focus on organic, plant-based cuisine and his passion is to teach others how to live a more healthful lifestyle through positive food choices. As an educational organization, ICA serves businesses and the public with clients ranging from people in dietary transition, vegetarians, emerging vegetarian chefs and traditional food professionals looking to add healthy menu options. Chase travels internationally offering consultations, speaking services, and training programs for his clients.

Most of Chase's recipes require huge soup pots and serve at least 18. We reduced the following two recipes to manageable sizes. After a taste test, we found them to be a delicious combination. …

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