I really did not know what to expect when I showed up but I do know that I enjoyed the people I met and I think the whole operation was run as professionally as anyone could expect when dealing with personalities. As for the instruction, I don’t think it could have been any better when dealing with different levels of competence and commitment. I enjoyed the whole experience and would highly recommend it (and have) to anyone that is interested in improving their culinary skills.
As an adult educator myself, I really valued how all the chefs taught with so much patience, humour, passion, and mastery of the subject area…which is pretty much as good as it gets in education. The personal stories (and rants), scientific explanations, historical references and sharing of food values really made the experience special and memorable. I also really appreciated that you all took the time to get to know us a little and to check-in with us throughout each week.
I loved the experience, realized right away how little I knew and know now how much more I need and want to learn. The instructors have very different personalities and teaching styles. That provides for a lot of variety and keeps the days and weeks interesting. I also really appreciated that they always made themselves available to provide individual coaching during and also after the daily classes. And thank you for slowly leading us up to a seven-course menu development (The Big Night) over several weeks. Thank you so much for all your teaching and sharing! You are a fantastic group.
The facilities are first class, the curriculum provides the students with incredible exposure to the art of cooking and the worldly knowledge of the chefs, their energy, and dedication to making the daily experience “serious fun” simply incredible! For me personally, Northwest has delivered its promise of changing one’s view of the culinary world making it accessible, challenging and very exciting. The course has energized me to continue exploring, being creative and taking chances in the kitchen as well as honing some skills.
I feel that this course came for me at the perfect time…..what is that old Daoist saying – the teacher(s) arrive when the student is ready…I have no doubt that I will see the ripple effects of this learning for me for a long time to come.
This is one of the only full-time, hands-on, comprehensive plant-based program offered in Canada. The course takes advantage of the Northwest’s amazing summer bounty and the culinary region’s creative and open-minded spirit. Though this is an enthusiast program, the curriculum will teach the same fundamentals taught in our 15 Week Professional Programs involved in transforming ingredients into delicious, creative possibilities. Naturally, it will also cover the bigger story of food itself: from ingredient provenance, ancient practices, wisdoms, and health principles.
The majority of ingredients are organic, locally sourced, and fair trade.
Who is this for?
First and foremost, this program addresses learners who value and practice vegetarian/vegan principles and are seeking a comprehensive curriculum delivered by professionals. It addresses anyone who is committed to mindfully expand their knowledge and practice with plant-based ingredients.
Though not dedicated to teach the rigours of the professional (and often meat-centric) industry, the curriculum covers the same professional expectations and details offered in our diploma programs. There are no theoretical or practical exams, no grades offered in this course, but definitely feedback.
In the history of Northwest, over 40 professional health practitioners have taken our 15 Week Professional Culinary Diploma Program to augment their expertise with practical knowledge with ingredients. The program is ideal for those practitioners looking for plant-based content and an environment where health principles are respected.
Who teaches it?
The program is guided by Northwest’s Professional Chef-Instructors and guest instructors specializing in Plant-based techniques and health principles.
10 Week Intensive Plant Based Culinary Master Camp
May 14 to July 20, 2018
9am – 3pm
$7,950 plus GST (uniform, curriculum and ingredients included)
Refund Policy: 90% Refund up to 30 days prior to the start of class: 50% Refund within 30 days but more than 15 days and no refunding within 14 days of start of class.
In this course we will cover an extensive array of techniques and work with incredible amount of ingredients. Some of what we will cover includes:
- Knife skills and stone sharpening skills
- Food Safety
- Maintaining good posture and healthy feet, knees, and shoulders when cooking
- Mise en place practices and efficiencies
- Recognizing ingredient quality (i.e., authentic x-virgin olive oil, vinegars, garlic, etc.)
- All dry and moist heat cooking techniques
- Fermentation and preservation techniques, products, beverages
- Food Science, History
- Gluten-free cooking and baking
- Grains, legumes, pulses, sprouts, microgreens, mushrooms
- Stocks, Sauces
- Spices from Aleppo Pepper to Zaatar
- Herbs from Basil to Tarragon
- Vegetarian “charcuterie” and nut/seed “cheeses”
- Miso, tempeh, high quality soy products
- Unique vinegars, oils, syrups
- Sourdough and multigrain breads
- Pastry classics made without dairy
- Plating design
- Menu planning and development
- Waste management and Total Utilization
- Dehydrating trim into powerful powders and “spices”
- Nutritional theories in practice: Macrobiotic, Ayurvedic
- Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Asian, Indian, Japanese, Latino cuisines
- Foraged creations
- Final practical dinner service (7 course menu)
Why are you offering this course?
The demand for a plant-based comprehensive course is growing. As a school which prides itself on constantly learning and evolving, applying more plant-based content addresses our Northwest regional curiosity for daring ideas with our bounty. And because the course is offered in late spring to mid-summer, it aligns perfectly with local availability. In other words, it simply begs to be done.
Is this a government certified program?
No. We have decided to have complete freedom with the content, structure, and delivery of our curriculum. Provincial and national professional culinary articulation tends to be very meat centric content and lacks attention towards contemporary diet principles many want on their plate.
Will I receive a Diploma for completing the course?
A diploma is only offered to students who complete our Professional Programs. However, we will give a letter to those who successfully complete the program. Northwest is recognized in the food education community as one of the premier and forward-thinking school in Vancouver and Canada.
Where do your plant-based ingredients come from?
We have a relationship with Glorious Organics, a local farm. Also, many staples come from Discovery Organics, our wholesaler of fair-trade, organic produce. Also, we are centrally located close to many farmers’ markets.
I’m vegan. Will I have to work with dairy, eggs, or honey?
The course is intended for vegetarians who can use dairy, eggs, and honey. However, vegans will be teamed with partners who choose to solely work with plant-based ingredients.
If I’m coming from out of town, will I get a list of plant-based eating establishments in Vancouver?
Yes. We have a full list of plant-based restaurants and stores available for students. As well, we will end the course with a seven-course dinner service that you will present to your family and friends.
Other Professional Programs
- Waiting List
8-Day Basics I: A Fresh Start + Hand-eye Opener
If you are ready to bringing serious game to your kitchen, this course will elevate your knowledge, basic skills, and confidence like no other.
8 Day Basics II: The Next Level of Courage + Creativity
If you are ready to challenge yourself to think, perform, investigate, and tie your apron just a bit more seriously, then this course is for you.
6 Day Butchery: Whole Meats
Breaking down and knowing different meat cuts and how to cook them is everything. This course takes hands-on to another level.
8 Day Pastry Basics
Great bread and pastries, from an artisanal sourdough, croissant, and cream puff are about basics done absolutely well. Take home products and new skills beyond your expectations.
2 Week Boot Camp
Full days condensing the most essential aha! moments of cooking in perhaps the most important 10 days of learning in your life.
After completing the Master Camp I can honestly say that it was everything I wanted, I have no inclination to continue in the industry but I am sure that this would give you a good idea of what the business is about. As for the instruction, each chef was extremely knowledgeable and as different as their personalities were they all brought something different to the table. The chef to student ratio was extremely high, answers and ideas were never far away. Each chef was very entertaining in their own way and it was a real pleasure getting to know them.
Throughout my time at NWCAV, I improved my flavour game and learned much more. By the end of the program, I found myself much more comfortable cooking dishes from other countries introduced to me during the Master Camp such as fresh made pasta and gnocchi. As the program progressed, many of the later recipes required foundation knowledge and skill sets from previous days of learning. I have been to about a dozen schools in my life time because my family moved very often and I have to say these instructors at NWCAV were the best instructors I have met.
The instructors possess both a passion for teaching and an approach to cooking which resonated deeply with me. They approach cooking as a creative endeavor with the “kitchen as studio” as the mindset. You of course learn technique (along with great food history!), but they also push hard to help you cultivate courage and confidence in the kitchen and to become your own unique type of chef. The entire team at NWCAV is really amazing.