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Plant-Based Cooking Schools Might Just Be the Future of Culinary Education

Plant-based eating is more than just a fad — it’s a movement that has transformed the way that people eat over the past few decades.

As people and the foodservice industry gravitate toward more nutritious, inclusive, and delicious dining options, there continues to be a growing demand for plant-based culinary schools. In fact, the global plant-based food market size is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.82%, reaching a value of $22.27 billion by 2029.* Additionally, plant-based foods have surpassed total foods in both dollar and unit sales for the past three years before 2022.

Novices and experienced chefs alike can enjoy learning the fundamentals and methods of plant-based recipes, basic ingredients to have on hand in a plant-based kitchen, meal composition, seasonal menu planning, cultural plant-based cuisine, food safety, allergen awareness, and traditional ingredient substitutions.

The Growing Consumer Demand for Plant-Based Foods*

Of consumers report eating meatless meals at least once a week.
Of consumers say they would be likely to order a dish described as plant-based.
Of consumers would order dishes described as meatless or meat-free.
Of consumers are actively trying to reduce their meat consumption (without sacrificing taste).
Skills Training


Escoffier’s plant-based culinary programs are designed to prepare students for real-world experience working in the food industry.


Demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of the foodservice industry including, but not limited to, food safety and sanitation, care and use of tools, effective communication, and respect for the uniform.


Use culinary and pastry tools, techniques, and ingredients to craft plant-based recipes that are inclusive, creative, and relevant in today’s food culture.

farm to table® & sustainability

Support the importance of using local ingredients with a focus on nutritional benefits, sustainability, ethics, and biodiversity.


Apply business principles in the management of commercial foodservice operations.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Lesson Examples

Get a glimpse of the many lessons taught in our plant-based courses

Plant-based business planning

  • Explore the fundamentals of capturing and vetting a business idea, pitching to investors, and bootstrapping on your own in your kitchen.
  • Receive feedback from a Chef Instructor with industry experience.

Plant-based menu design

  • Explore different types of menus for both meals and beverages, including visual design and item selection.
  • Students have the opportunity to explore financial factors that influence planning a successful menu and pricing.

Plant-based ingredients & seasonality

  • Discuss how to preserve ingredients to capture their peak flavor.
  • Understand how to integrate these ingredients into an entire menu.
  • Execute plant-based dishes that highlight seasonal produce.

Plant-based creativity

  • Follow proven recipes and methods that are fundamental building blocks for students who hope to someday become a chef.
  • Understand time-honored techniques to create new dishes and experiences by drawing on cultural influences and ethnic or personal background.

Our plant-based culinary programs combine theory with real-world application

Purchasing and Cost Control*
Foodservice Management*
Plant-based chef stirring a pot in a kitchen

*These courses are offered through the online programs only. The Boulder, Colorado campus Plant-Based Cuisine Diploma offers a longer Restaurant Operations course instead.

Plant-based chef stirring a pot in a kitchen


Build a new career creating delicious and nutritious meals with vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and plant proteins to lead the way in today’s food culture.

  • Our most affordable* and convenient plant-based program
  • 100% online program with hands-on industry externship
  • Option to enroll in Associate Degree online program upon graduation with fully earned credit transfer

*Consider your situation and resources to determine what is affordable and on budget, for you.



Launch a career focused on creating plant-based cuisines and helping others live healthier lifestyles.

  • Attend our campus in beautiful Boulder, Colorado
  • Complete the program in just 42 weeks
  • Option to enroll in Associate Degree online program upon graduation with fully-earned credit transfer


Close up of hands adding garnishes on a vegan dish, illustrating the latest plant-based methods and techniques


Our Most Complete Plant-Based Program From the Convenience of Your Own Kitchen

Go a step beyond the plant-based diploma program with additional knowledge and business skills for your career.

  • 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

Gain a Professional Edge with a Plant-Based Associate Degree

Differentiate yourself in the industry as a professional committed to their craft. According to the New York Times, culinary school may be the fastest and most-efficient way of entering the culinary industry, given how it has grown in complexity.*

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

Culinary student in uniform smiling for a photo
business operations
Use managerial accounting and cost control methods in business operations.
the role of food
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.


More Details

Accredited and Respected Worldwide

The reputation of the institution where you earn your degree or diploma is an important measure of value. Escoffier is recognized industry-wide as a leader in culinary education. The Boulder, Colorado campus develops and delivers Escoffier’s online programs. It is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) and is approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools.
#1 in the world
Ranked best culinary school in the world by Chef’s Pencil 2020
Top 10 culinary schools in the United States - USA Today 2019

*Based on comparable student population data for Austin and Boulder as currently reported in Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

An industry externship in a professional kitchen can give you the mentorship and hands-on experience you need for your plant-based culinary career

Your externship gives you an opportunity to practice your skills in a professional kitchen. This could include exploring new cuisines and methods, performing a variety of prep tasks, working on the line, or turning out finished dishes for paying guests. What’s important is getting experience that is aligned with your goals and interests.

I saw that Escoffier is the number one culinary school around the world, and they had an online program. I just love my classes. I love the Escoffier advisors; they are amazing. The chefs have incredible experiences, and they are so willing to share it."*
Maria Rodriguez in chef uniform Maria Rodriguez
Plant-Based Culinary Arts Student

*This information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors such as geographical region or previous experience.

Meet Your Plant-Based Chef Instructors

You have a dream…a dream to perfect your craft of creating plant-based entrees, appetizers, and desserts that delight diners while upholding values of nutrition, health, and protecting the environment.

But how do you get from where you are now to realizing that dream? You know that hard work and commitment lies ahead. That’s why you need Escoffier Chef Instructors in your corner. As your coaches and mentors, their job is to hold you to the highest and best version of yourself that you can be…to stretch your creativity, and help you move beyond whatever limitations you ever thought you might have.

Headshot of Chef Stephanie Michalak-White
Director of Education Stephanie Michalak White

Does The Online Format Really Work for the Culinary Arts?

Yes, online culinary school really does work. With more than 8,500 students enrolled during the Fall 2022 in online programs at our accredited culinary arts institution, Escoffier continues to lead in online culinary education.*

*Based on student enrollment in distance education programs for the Boulder campus, as currently reported in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPDES).

The online programs at Escoffier allow students to develop the same skills as ground campus students, but you complete the program in your own kitchen.”
Escoffier Chef Instructor

Escoffier’s Online Culinary Learning Model Explained

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts pioneered the online learning model for the culinary arts. Here’s how it works:

Step 1:


Read assigned texts, watch technique videos, do additional research and complete knowledge checks.
Step 2:


Participate in discussion boards with your classmates and instructors about topics related to your coursework, the industry, and more. Join live lessons held virtually each week for a real classroom experience.
Step 3:


It’s cooking time! Execute your practical assignments, documenting the process along the way through a production sheet and taking photos when instructed to.

The Plant-Based Online Programs Toolkit

The Plant-Based Online Programs Toolkit includes knives, sharpening steel, uniform, and other basics. These are the fundamental tools you’ll use throughout your career as you begin to create plant-based dishes. Under the guidance of expert chef instruction, you’ll move ever closer to mastery of your craft.

The Plant-Based Online Programs Toolkit
Cost & Time

Your options to help you afford pursuing a career in plant-based culinary arts

Most Escoffier students use federal financial aid to help pay for culinary school.* Financial Aid is available to students who apply and qualify.

Federal Financial Aid
Federal financial aid is available to students who apply and qualify. Get our student aid guide, or speak with a financial aid representative to learn more.
Student aid guide
Scholarships and Grants
Learn about scholarships and federal financial grants for those who apply and qualify.
Scholarship guide
Military Benefits
Eligible active duty, veterans, and their family members have specific grants available to help them reach their educational goals.
GI BILL® guide
Online Plant-Based Culinary Arts Diploma
Program Cost: $21,751
Program Length: 60 Weeks
Plant-Based Cuisine Diploma in Boulder, CO
Program Cost: $24,109
Program Length: 42 Weeks
Online Associate Degree in Plant-Based Culinary Arts
Program Cost: $33,035
Program Length: 84 Weeks
Graphic of two culinary students, one baking bread in a kitchen and the other taking notes while watching a lecture online

How Much Per Month?

For all students, the average amount of aid awarded in the form of federal student loans in 2021-22 was $11,125, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Be sure to check with an Escoffier financial aid representative to understand what costs, loans, and loan repayments might be for your specific situation.

In other words, you typically don’t have to pay for your tuition all at once: most Escoffier students qualify for financial aid, which can include a combination of Pell grants and student loans.

Most Escoffier students who entered postsecondary education for the first time received some financial assistance in 2021-22 (for those who applied and qualified).*

Career Outlook

Plant-based cooking creates infinite possibilities for today’s professionals

Plant-based diets are growing rapidly around the world. Here are just a few of the entry-level careers you might pursue with your diploma or degree:

EXAMPLE Job Titles
  • Line cook
  • Head cook
  • Personal cook
  • Culinary assistant
  • Caterer
Example Employers
  • Health-focused restaurants
  • Health resorts or spas
  • Plant-based packaged goods
  • Hospitality employers

You might also explore self-employment opportunities in menu development, catering, as a personal chef, and more!

Some Escoffier graduates have found jobs with top employers like these:

disney culinary
Compass Group Logo
Hyatt logo
Sodexo Logo
Landrys restaurant logo
Four Seasons logo


Get “insider knowledge” on how you can uncover career opportunities with our employer partners.

Illustration of a chef holding a spatula next to a grill

Career Planning

Get clear on your goals and understand career options. Use your externship to explore and experiment.
Illustration of a resume

Resume and Portfolio Assistance

Build a resume and portfolio that catches the attention of employers in the niche where you’d like to work.
Illustration of a manager interviewing someone

Interview Preparation

We can help you practice your interview skills to be ready for questions that come your way.

During the forecast period between 2023 and 2029, BlueWeave projects the global plant-based food market size to grow at a significant compound annual growth rate of 11.82%, reaching a value of $22.27 billion by 2029.*



Escoffier’s Admission Requirements

To enroll at Escoffier and get started in the plant-based culinary arts degree or diploma program, you must show proof of a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED). You do not need any specific work experience, nor do you have to take the ACT or SAT to be admitted to any program at Escoffier. For more information, see our catalog.

Get Your Enrollment Checklist

Get a step-by-step guide to enrolling at Escoffier.

See Checklist

Get Your Questions Answered

Talk to an Escoffier
Admissions Representative.


The Timeless Tradition of Classic French Cuisine Meets Modern Plant-Based Cooking

Widely regarded as the founder of modern cooking, the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier established the basic culinary principles taught by nearly all culinary institutions today. One of those traditions was to implore chefs to consistently innovate techniques, methodologies, and foods.

People who do not accept the new grow old very quickly.”
Auguste Escoffier
I've had such an amazing experience. The things we learn hands-on and in the reading, lectures, and the live classes... GOLD. I'm even informing my vegan friends things, ideas, concepts, and techniques they didn't know about.*
Sophia San Roman
Plant-Based Culinary Arts Student

*This information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors such as geographical region or previous experience.


Frequently asked questions about our plant-based programs

Answer Your Calling: Start Your Plant-Based Journey Today

Don’t let your creativity and passion for plant-based and vegan cooking go unrealized...take the next step today!

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