Why Choose The Online
Plant-Based Associate Degree

  • Our most complete plant-based program
  • 100% online program with two industry externships for hands-on training
  • Includes training in plant-based knowledge and business
  • Apply earned credits from the plant-based diploma program

See Tuition and Financial Aid Info

The Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Plant-Based Culinary Arts includes all courses (or their equivalents) from the Plant-Based diploma programs. In addition, this degree includes a suite of general education courses that add depth to students’ overall learning experience, preparing them for the foodservice industry.

Tomatoes, strawberries, and rosemary

Program Objectives

Escoffier’s Plant-Based Associate Degree program includes all of the objectives of the Diploma Program, plus:


Use managerial accounting and cost control methods in business operations.


Discuss the role of food and its contribution and influence over history, culture, religion, economics, and politics.

Psychological Principles

Apply psychological principles to the workplace.
A plant-based dessert topped with berries stis on a white plate
A pomegranate and a slice of pomegranate shows the seeds inside

Gain a PROFESSIONAL Edge with a Plant-Based Associate Degree

Differentiate yourself in the industry as a professional committed to their craft. Research shows that employers are willing to pay a premium for new hires with certification because they tend to have a more diverse skill set, require less training, and demonstrate increased professionalism versus their peers without formal training1.
Two chefs in the kitchen talking while one chops a carrot
Garlic, pepper, and lime
Piece of lemon pie with a slice of lemon on top

Courses in This Program

  • Plant-Based Culinary Foundations I

    In this course, students will be introduced to food safety and sanitation practices in order to prevent foodborne illnesses. They will also be presented with information about food allergens, levels of severity, and measures a chef can take to keep guests safe and included.

    Additionally, this course will introduce students to the professional plant-based kitchen by familiarizing them with not only traditional culinary tools, utensils, and equipment but also those unique to the plant-based kitchen. They will practice knife safety, cutting techniques, standard measurements and conversions, and basic cooking techniques. But perhaps most importantly, students will classify foods into their food groups to understand basic recipe structures and begin modifying traditional recipes with plant-based substitutions. These concepts will be echoed throughout the entirety of the program.

  • Plant-Based Culinary Foundations II

    In this course, students will continue their plant-based education with the creation of stocks and soups, which will be leveraged in future plant-based dishes. Students will also prepare a variety of legumes and grains that introduce new techniques and flavors to their culinary palate.

  • Menu Design

    This course explores different types of menus (including both food menus and beverage menus) and their applications. The course covers all aspects of menu planning and design, ranging from visual design to prices analysis to making use of available resources. The menu is both a financial tool and a communication tool, and students learn about its uses as both.

  • Plant-Based Culinary Foundations III

    In the final foundations course, students will apply skills and knowledge gained in prior foundations to the preparation of stews. Students will also prepare a variety of plant-based proteins using the appropriate techniques for each. Finally, students will combine all their fundamental culinary skills and apply them to the theory of meal composition. They will design and prepare balanced dishes focusing on meal composition, flavor profiles, and depth of flavor.

  • Foundations of Plant-Based Pastry I

    In this course, students will be presented with ways to create plant-based frozen desserts as well as techniques to prevent them from freezing solid or becoming gritty in the freezer. They will also prepare fruit based and raw desserts, cookies, bars, and confections using a variety of ingredients such as cream-based sauces, puddings, fillings, nuts, and seeds to name a few. Additionally, students will be introduced to techniques for replacing traditional baking ingredients with plant-based alternatives and how to build flavor in their plant-based pastry dishes.

  • Purchasing and Cost Control

    Three out of five foodservice operations fail within five years of opening, often due to money mismanagement. This course gives students the skills to not only keep their restaurant in business but to also turn a profit. This course introduces students to purchasing, receiving, inventory management and menu pricing. In this course, students learn how to minimize costs and maintain a full range of customer services. The course progresses from the fundamentals of culinary math into an overview of storeroom operations, inventory, portion control, as purchased and edible portions, ingredient conversions, and recipe costing.

  • Foundations of Plant-Based Pastry II

    Students will expand upon content learned in Foundations of Plant-Based Pastry I. They will continue their awareness of flavor balance as they use ingredients like fruit purees, for example, to enhance the taste and texture of their plant-based desserts. Students will prepare a variety of plant-based pastries such as cakes, breads, muffins, breakfast foods, truffles, ganache and more! They will also work with yeast allowing them an opportunity to practice folding, rolling, twisting, and cutting dough as they create classic forms that are enriched by seasonings and toppings. Finally, students will modify recipes to accommodate gluten-free diets.

  • Seasonal Plant-Based Cuisine

    This course explores seasonal plant-based cooking using ingredients available during spring, early summer, mid-summer, late summer, fall, and winter. Students will explore ways to find and select seasonally fresh vegetables at supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and the like and how to optimally cook them for the best dining results. Students will also be introduced to the benefits of Farm to Table® cooking and the importance of sustainability practices as they relate to culinary outcomes.

  • Foodservice Management

    This course covers the different types of commercial foodservice operations, and how to manage each using the principles of good service. Students study the hierarchy of management in foodservice, and the skill needed to succeed as a manager: training employees, motivating, them, disciplining them, and creating a safe and positive work environment. The course also explores how to act r esponsibly and make decisions that benefit the company.

  • Plant-Based Approaches to Wellness

    In Plant-Based Approaches to Wellness, students will examine philosophies of wellness unique to plant-based eating such as, Whole Food Plant-Based, Raw, Ayurveda, and Macro. Students will also look at trending diets and how to prepare dishes within a plant-based culinary framework. Moreover, they will explore various ingredient substitutions to accommodate allergy restrictions.

  • Cultural Influences I

    Students will begin their culinary journey around the world in this Cultural Influences I course. They will be exposed to the traditions, customs, and ingredients unique to specific countries such as Japan, Italy, Greece, India, France, and Vietnam. Students will apply the skills that they have cultivated throughout this program to prepare culturally authentic plant-based dishes.

  • Entrepreneurship

    This course is a culmination course in entrepreneurship. This course covers such topics as business planning, pricing, credit management, government regulation, and legal concerns. Business ethics and the crucial role and importance of management and leadership are also covered.

  • Cultural Influences II

    Students will continue their cultural culinary journey in Cultural Influences II. They will be exposed to the traditions, customs, and ingredients unique to specific countries such as Lebanon, Thailand, Spain, Mexico, Morocco, and the United States. Students will apply the skills that they have cultivated throughout this program to prepare culturally authentic plant-based dishes.

  • Business and Professional Communications

    The Business and Professional Communications course emphasizes the principles and practical application of effective professional communication behaviors within professional, business, and organizational contexts. In addition to identifying the importance of effective communication skills to the hospitality industry, communication styles and effective listening methods are addressed.

    Listening skills, verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict resolution, cultural differences in communication, and debate techniques are also covered.

  • World History and Culture from the Culinary Perspective

    Throughout history, food has done more than just provide nourishment. From prehistoric times to the present day, food and the pursuit of it has had a transformative role in human history. Food has impacted society organization, industrial development, military conflict, and economic expansion. As epicure and gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarian stated, “Gastronomy govern the whole of the human man.” This course examines the role of food and its contribution and influence over history, culture, religion, economics, and politics.

  • The Science of Nutrition

    This course covers the basic principles of nutrition, emphasizing nutrients, food sources, and their role in growth, development, and overall health. Contemporary and global nutritional issues are also discussed.

  • Food Service Math and Accounting

    All foodservice managers, regardless of the type of foodservice business with which they are involved, must understand and manage the costs associated with operating their businesses. Foodservice Math & Accounting introduces students to managerial accounting and cost control concepts and explains their applications to specific operations within the hospitality industry. Emphasis is placed on how to administer accounting procedures to minimize costs and maintain a full range of customer services.

    After a summary of the fundamentals of culinary math, an overview of basic business cost control functions are covered including expenses, revenue, food, beverage, labor, and other controllable and non-controllable costs. Income statements and profit analysis are covered as well.

  • Introduction to Psychology in the Workplace

    The goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict, and influence behavior and mental processes. With these goals in mind, students will study the scientific process and learn to explain psychological phenomena. They will learn about how those phenomena fit into major psychological theories, and how to practically apply the ideas of psychology.

  • Externship I

    This course provides opportunities for real life experiences in an operational restaurant or related business and builds on the skills and techniques covered in previous courses. In the course, students apply the skills they have learned in practical ways to real-world situations. Students gain hands-on experience in the kitchen that mirrors their future work in the industry while developing necessary career skills. Immersion in a work environment also allows students to develop industry contacts and build working relationships.

  • Externship II

    This course provides additional opportunities for real life experiences in an operational restaurant or related business and builds on the skills and techniques covered in previous courses.

We start talking to you about your externship course really early in the process of becoming a student with us. We want to help you find what the right externship is for you based on your career goals and we help you to find those career goals early on, so you can understand what you want to do with your externship."



Risotto topped with mushrooms and basil

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