Appetite is growing for plant-based food

By Le Cordon Bleu London 

Launch of new Diploma in Plant-Based Culinary Arts


As the EAT-Lancet Commission Summary report recently concluded, an ever-growing body of work on the environmental impacts of various diets suggests that a diet rich in plant-based foods and with fewer animal source foods confers both improved health and environmental benefits. Overall, the literature indicates that such diets are “win-win” – they are good for both people and planet.

In response to the growing popularity of plant-based food in the mainstream culinary and hospitality industry, Le Cordon Bleu London will launch the three-month Diploma in Plant-Based Culinary Arts in January 2020. The culinary institute has an innovative approach when developing new programmes, ensuring that their content will equip culinary professionals with the skills they need to succeed in an ever-changing industry. 

In 2018, the UK launched more vegan products than any other country, making plant-based foods the country’s fastest growing culinary trend. In light of the surge the UK is experiencing in the demand for plant-based cuisine, it becomes increasingly important to provide opportunities to chefs to develop their abilities and to excel at producing fantastic plant-based cuisine. 


Le Cordon Bleu London is a world leading culinary school that is steeped in history and has a rich heritage spanning over 120 years. In 2012, Le Cordon Bleu moved from its base on Marylebone Lane to its new state-of-the-art premises, where it now sits at 15 Bloomsbury Square. Traditional French culinary techniques remain at the heart of Le Cordon Bleu, but the academic programmes are constantly adapted to include new, innovative technologies and the future need of hospitality services.


Photo Credit: “Kohlrabi and Sorrel Ravioli, Spiced Carrot Emulsion, Pine Nut Crumble” by Le Cordon Bleu London
Photo Credit: “Kohlrabi and Sorrel Ravioli, Spiced Carrot Emulsion, Pine Nut Crumble” by Le Cordon Bleu London 


What will the course cover? 


The diploma focuses on crafting excellent dishes from plants and has been designed to educate chefs on the expansive range of plant-based ingredients. Le Cordon Bleu has designed the programme with the intention of bringing plant ingredients to the forefront of cuisine through exploring underutilised ingredients, varieties of vegetables, grains and pulses, herbs and spices. 

The diploma is perfectly suited for anyone who desires a profession in whole foods cookery or wants to add plant-based cuisine to their skills repertoire. It will exclude the use of animal products, processed and refined foods, added sugar and artificial preservatives and seasonality will be highlighted in every lesson. This all-encompassing course will cover the production of pastries and breads, and the use of a variety of natural oils and vinegars to create dressings. It will also teach the students how to create non-dairy ice-cream, cheese and egg replacement. It will teach the specific use of different types of seaweeds, grains, leaves and microgreens, as well as nut milks for sweet and savoury use.

Le Cordon Bleu Chefs will provide specialist culinary education around the rapidly growing market of plant-based ingredients, restaurants and products, and students will learn how to create and design their own dishes with their guidance. Modules include Plant-Based Cuisine and Diet; Professional Culinary Skills and Product Knowledge; Specialised Plant-Based Cuisines and Desserts: Chocolate, Fruit & Nuts.


The Programme is formed of six modules: 

  1. Plant-Based Cuisine and Diet
  2. Professional Culinary Skills and Product Knowledge
  3. Vegetable and Plant Foods
  4. Grains, Pulses, Nuts & Seeds 
  5. Specialised Plant-Based Cuisines
  6. Desserts: Chocolate, Fruit & Nuts


As Culinary Arts Director Chef Emil Minev puts it: “Combining the growing demand for plant-based cooking with the culinary techniques that Le Cordon Bleu is renowned for, our chefs explore the different uses for plant-based ingredients, perfect for anyone who is interested in creating dishes from fresh produce and whole-foods.”