I spent the past six months in the Chef's Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. It was a game changer. Not only was I able to hone in on classical culinary skills, but my repertoire for both traditional and health-supportive cuisine was immensely expanded.
The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts is not your run-of-the-mill culinary school. Its roots are deeply embedded in traditional culinary technique with a primary focus on nutritionally minded cooking. Throughout the program, the principles of the school's founder, Dr. Annemarie Colbin, were apparent in every recipe and lecture. NGIHCA's philosophy is that food should be whole, as nature intended, and local and seasonal whenever feasible. Ingredients should be fresh and organic with minimal processing and additives, meals should honor the tradition of its geography, and food should always be delicious - because if you can't enjoy the fruit of your labor, then what is the point?
Learning Japanese and French knife skills, mastering essential cooking methods, executing, plating, sourcing, and balancing plant forward menus were just some of the essential tools that I gained during the training. Food as medicine, whether preventative or as part of a treatment, was also a hallmark of the program in addition to understanding how to utilize ingredients for their maximum nutritional potential.
Although I would never claim to be a baker, the training program covered a vast array of traditional as well as vegan, gluten-free, and flourless baking techniques that ranged from bagels to pizza to galettes.
We had classes in Ayurveda, macrobiotics, business, and medicinal cooking which united the techniques that we were learning in the kitchen with the application and principles surrounding them.
Want to start your own journey in the NGIHCA's Chef's Training Program? Learn more here.
Below are the top 10 things that I learned in culinary school.
How to convert a decadent recipe into a healthifed version.
Vegan pâté does exist and tastes quite good!
How to properly compose a salad.
The art and technique of a French omelet.
Smoked mushrooms will blow your mind. Thanks Chef Olivia!
How to master the pressure cooker and cook perfect beans.
That traditional Indian cuisine is not overwhelmingly hard to make, but can be nourishing, approachable, and most importantly incredibly delicious.
How to create a killer raw and living foods spread.
How to develop, practice, and execute a vegan dinner for 100 guests.
That a diverse and eclectic group of baby chefs can inspire and produce incredible results!
Want to see what I was up to at the half way point? Check out my previous post on NGIHCA.
A big thank you to the Natural Gourmet Institute for this incredible partnership!