I am so excited to share some exciting news with you today! Next month, I will be starting a six-month culinary journey with the online Rouxbe cooking school. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m over-the-moon excited to be a student again! Typing these words makes my heart giggle (more on that in my post below). But for now, let’s start with my personal vegan journey.
My Food Story
I was born and raised in the Philippines. My parents, grandparents, and relatives are talented cooks. My parents met at the university cafeteria while working as full-time college students. I have very fond memories of my childhood in our family kitchen. The sweet aroma of papa’s fresh-baked bread and mama’s gourmet dishes always made me and my two younger sisters feel so at home.
The kitchen is the heart of my parents’ home. My parents’ food have a way of bringing people together and cheering them up. You can imagine the wonderful memories we shared with family and friends around our dinner table. To this very day, nostalgia welcomes me with open arms every time I visit home and smell mama’s home-cooked food.
I grew up eating mostly vegetarian food, although, on some occasions, I ate beef and chicken. It was during my sophomore year in college that my passion for cooking really began. Living in a dorm far from my parents’ home-cooked meals, I knew cooking was the best way to save money.
Becoming a Vegan
In 2011, I watched Food Inc, a documentary which exposes the hidden secrets of the food industry. I learned that artificial foods and animal products cause obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I saw animals being brutally treated before being killed for food consumption. I was mortified and vowed never to eat meat again.
Inspired by the documentary, I decided to be a vegan. I had no idea how addicted I had become to animal food products. It took me at least a couple months to reset my taste buds. Being a vegan meant having fewer options at the potluck table, asking the waiter to customize my order at restaurants, and being intentional about meal planning and grocery shopping. Staying on course wasn’t easy, but as a Christian, my commitment to the vegan lifestyle was affirmed by the following verses:
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” – Genesis 1:29
“He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.” – Psalm 104:14
Not long after becoming a vegan, my health began improving noticeably. My face, which used to get acne after eating cheese, was actually clearing up! Even better, my asthma and seasonal allergies completely went away! The benefits of my vegan diet amazed me and I wanted my friends and family to experience them, as well. Some of my friends couldn’t understand why I chose to eat food that ‘lacked’ flavor and richness. Or so they thought. This made me even more determined to introduce them to home-cooked vegan meals that were both delicious and nutritious.
Dreaming of Cooking School
My love and appreciation for vegan cooking grew with each meal I prepared. I soon became interested in improving my cooking skills but felt limited by my lack of understanding about the science behind making flavorful vegan sauces, dressings, soups, entrees, appetizers, and desserts. I wanted to prove to my friends that vegan food, cooked the right way and with the right ingredients, is not only healthy but also delicious. I started dreaming of going to cooking school.
Discovering Rouxbe Cooking School
I was determined to make my dreams come true, so I decided to do some online research. That’s when I discovered Rouxbe, an online cooking school that offers plant-based professional cooking courses three times a year. I knew I wanted to learn from the comfort of my own home, so I was immediately intrigued. My eagerness grew when I read blogs by former Rouxbe students. They wrote about the flexibility to do so much upon completion of the course. Some decided to teach plant-based cooking, write their own cookbooks, start vegan blogs, start their own catering company, start a meal planning business, and some even opened their own restaurants!
My Rouxbe Story
Last year, I was talking to my husband about my dream of sharing my love of healthy plant-based cooking. I told him about Rouxbe, and we decided to start a sinking fund and save up for the course. Last February, I registered for Rouxbe’s Plant-based Professional Certification Course, which starts next month on May 5. After a year of waiting and months of saving up, you can imagine the overwhelming excitement I felt when I received my registration receipt!
Here’s a quick overview of the plant-based course, straight from Rouxbe’s website:
- PART 1: SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS. 17 hours | 9 lessons | 8 videos | 4 assessments
- PART 2: FOUNDATIONAL COOKING METHODS. 25 hours | 24 lessons | 20 videos | 8 assessments
- PART 3: DIVE DEEPER INTO TECHNIQUE. 30 hours | 21 lessons | 23 videos | 12 assessments
- PART 4: SPECIALTY DIETS AND MEAL PLANS. 18 hours | 13 lessons | 30 videos | 8 assessments
- PART 5: ADVANCED TECHNIQUE AND RECIPE DEVELOPMENT. 30 hours | 31 lessons | 40 videos | 10 assessments
How long will it take?
The course is self-paced and must be completed within 6 months. I get giddy just thinking about starting next month. Here are a few time-related details — so you can keep me accountable!
- Begins: May 5, 2016
- Ends: November 1, 2016
- Time requirements: 40+ hours per month or 10-15 hours per week
Who will be sharing this journey with me?
- My husband
- Local friends
- You (I will be blogging about my Rouxbe cooking school adventures)
What I’m looking forward to
- Being adventurous and cooking with new ingredients
- Creating recipes and sharing them with you
- Improving my slicing skills
- Mastering how to make vegan creams, sauces, soups, and dressings
- Incorporating more gluten-free, oil-free and sugar-free foods into my cooking repertoire
If you’re interested in following along and tracking my Rouxbe progress, you can read my future posts, which will be tagged under “Rouxbe”. Also, I will be including this neat progress counter to my Rouxbe-related posts.
Rouxbe Progress Tracker