Thanks to the popularity of organic foods, more people are seeking out organic cooking schools. These schools teach students what makes food organic, beginning with the producers. Then, of course, the students learn how to incorporate organic food into their repertoire of cuisines.
Anyone Can Attend
People interested in organic cooking schools do not have to be in training to become professional chefs. It's not uncommon for a person to attend a series of courses just to learn to cook for a small group or family. This is especially true with organic schools since most of them are small and not very auspicious.
U.S.-Based Organic Cooking Schools
There are few schools in the United States devoted entirely to organic cuisine. However, there is at least one on each coast.
This school teaches organic, plant-based, vegan cooking as part of an overall green living and wellness lifestyle. You have the option to enroll in online courses or take courses at their on-site facilities in Los Angeles and New York. On-site students work at their own stations using state-of-the-art equipment. Full-time course loads are available Monday through Friday, and weekend workshops are also offered.
This school in the Los Angeles area focuses on macrobiotic, wheat-free and vegetarian organic cooking. Most classes are not hands-on but rather demonstrations. Examples of classes a person might find are "Pub Grub," which focuses on tempeh "fish" and baked potato skins; and traditional Hanukkah foods cooked organic vegetarian style. All courses take place on Saturdays and Sundays.
People who have the travel bug and an interest in organic cooking will be happy to learn that they can fit in some classes while they are on vacation.
What better way to learn about cooking organic Italian food than by spending a week on an organic farm in Tuscany? This school offers all of its classes in English and keeps its group sizes small, at nine students or less. Students learn to make organic antipasti, breads, vegetable dishes, meat and seafood dishes and desserts. They also get a course in organic wines, complete with sampling. Note that this is not a cheap option, but it could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
Chiang Man Thai Farm Cooking School
Students at this cooking school learn from a Thai family living on an organic farm. They will pick up their ingredients at the local market, tour the farm, prepare an organic lunch of curry or another local delicacy and site down for a meal with their fellow students. Each individual learns to cook three dishes before lunch and three dishes after. Courses last up to three consecutive days although sessions can be extended upon request. Transportation to and from the place where each student is staying is provided. All classes are in English.
People who want to learn about organic cooking shouldn't worry if they don't have the means to travel to an organic cooking school. Many traditional cooking schools have courses on organic food and sustainable practices in their regular class schedules. These schools include:
- New York's Institute of Culinary Education
- Vermont's New England Culinary Institute
- San Francisco's California Culinary Academy
- Seattle Culinary Academy
- Portland, Oregon's Western Culinary Institute
Find Courses That Work for You
Sometimes individual organic farms will hold sessions on an irregular basis as well, and there is always a chance that an organic chef will be willing to give one-on-one instruction to a person that expresses interest. So there is no harm in asking if none of these options are ideal.