Completing A Vegan Diploma

On my journey to becoming a vegan chef, I was adamant about using only plant-based ingredients at every stage.

spinach
I’d love to say this spinach malfatti with roasted root veg looked too good to eat, but I definitely polished it all off.

This ruled out traditional culinary school for me right off the bat. I was then left with the task of choosing between the surprising number of vegan cookery courses on offer across the UK.

I ruled most of these out too, as the majority of offerings were day courses, and I wanted a more in-depth study. It turns out beggars can be choosers, and I deliberated for all I was worth.

pumpkin
I, too, was a stuffed pumpkin after this perfect autumnal dish with a variety of types of kale

Finally, I found Demuths Cookery School in Bath. As well as offering courses that spanned up to two weeks, Demuths is a fully vegetarian company which, unsurprisingly, sat really well with me when deciding where to study.

All of the tutors at Demuths are experienced vegetarian or vegan chefs, each typically with expertise in different cuisines. Throughout my time studying the ‘Vegan 5 Day’ course and the 10-day long ‘Vegan Diploma’ I was guided through Mexico, Italy, Korea, Turkey and India, with many lay-overs in between.

pizza
Pizza: the ultimate test of our own sourdough starters

On the 5 day course, a number of basics were covered: bread, knife skills, stock; and on the Diploma we branched out to hone presentation skills, more complex techniques and an array of different flavour combinations.

Each course is structured in the same basic way: tea, coffee and homemade vegan biscuits as the day begins, followed by a busy morning of cooking  to make our lunch, and an afternoon spent working through another dish or skill, all interspersed with demonstrations from the tutors. I left each day with a stomach full of food, a brain full of new ideas, and a (few) tupperware dishes full of leftovers.

noodle
Spicy noodle broth topped with crispy deep fried rice noodles, because noodles are good but fried, they’re great.

On the final day of the diploma, we were tasked with creating a ‘signature’ dish. It had to be a tart with a chickpea-flour egg-like filling, but could be flavoured however we liked.

Although no matter which angle I looked at owner Rachel Demuth from, she didn’t seem to look quite like Gregg Wallace, playing Masterchef was fun all the same.

quiche
My final day offering: a veganised take on a Quiche Lorraine

For my final day challenge, I made a deconstructed, veganised version of a Quiche Lorraine, a sentence which I’m sure has only ever been spoken in comedy sketch shows.

I made a flat pastry disk for my tart element – the baked chickpea-flour filling, flavoured with caramelised leeks, standing alone. I added a smoked tempeh curl, chargrilled leeks, pea shoot salad and a cheesy sauce. I was really quite pleased with it, and so were my tutors. Happy days!

cauli
Are you allowed to catcall a cauliflower soup?

I loved my time at Demuths. Bath is a beautiful city – even when it does live up to its name by being soaking wet – I learnt an incredible amount, and grew dramatically in confidence. Completing a vegan diploma gave me the skills, knowledge and confidence I needed to become a chef with not an animal product in sight!

nachos
My presentation skills came on such a long way that I managed to do…this…to a plate of nachos

 

 

 

Tacos pro.jpg
I might not make handmade tortillas every time I have tacos, but it was pretty satisfying
26767419759_e9857ae9d1_o
I’d like to publicly apologise to Tempeh for considering it a junk-y food before making this amazing roasted squash dish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All food pictured is my own work, and was all made during my time studying at Demuths.

3 thoughts on “Completing A Vegan Diploma

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