Being vegan is becoming more and more prevalent in modern society, but there is an ongoing misconception that vegan food is sub-par to food from animal products. This is simply not the case and there are a number of chefs that are willing to show you how you definitely do not have to sacrifice your favourite meals once you go vegan. You may not even be vegan yourself, but feel like understanding an alternative lifestyle. Either way, these cooking courses will never make you feel like you are getting anything less than the very best.
These kinds of courses are also particularly helpful for people trying to become vegan but struggling with the cost of meat replacement products. Yes, these artificial meat products are a great way to wean meat from your diet, but working with natural, normal ingredients available at shops is not difficult – you just need some guidance. So, here it is.
1. Cookery School at Little Portland Street
Cookery School at Little Portland Street has two vegan cooking courses that are both designed to set you up for a delicious and rewarding time in the kitchen, both on the day of the course as well as once you take your skills home. Both of them are food events in London and worth your undivided attention.
The All Day Vegan course focuses on natural, raw ingredients and how to manipulate them such that you get all the nutrients you need. All their ingredients are additive-free and they do not believe in using meat substitutes. This is the prime place to learn about how to use fresh ingredients and absorb all the nutritional goodness nature has on offer. You will get to gorge yourself on everything you have made at the end of the course, whilst sipping on vegan wine.
A Vegan Winter is a really helpful and relevant course. There is a bit of an incorrect notion that vegan means cold foods, or salads. But this course shows you how wholesome and rich vegan foods can be, keeping you warm and satisfied during the colder months. Hearty soups, pies and quiches are just some of the wonderfully filling and nourishing items on the menu!
Contact: 020 7631 4590
Address: 15 Little Portland St, Marylebone, London W1W 8BW
2. Food at 52
Food at 52 has two courses to show you the wonder of cooking vegan food, and really emphasise how vegan food should not be associated with something being missing, just something different.
The first course is a general vegan class, which puts a heavy focus on new and exciting ways to cook plant-based food. The trouble many people have before attending a course like this is not the motivation or even the access to products, but simply the absence of variation and inspiration. With the number of recipes you will be tempted to try on leaving Food at 52, that should never be a worry again!
The second course is more specific – it is an Italian vegan class. It is so informative and fun that it runs less like a cooking class and more like food events in London. One thing that vegans tend to miss if converting to veganism is dairy products like cheese and milk, which appear to be pillars of Italian cooking. This course shows you that this is not the case and that this ethical-swap does not mean sacrificing your love for the enchanting Italian cuisine. Most importantly for some, you will learn how to make fresh pasta without egg!
Contact: 07814 027067
Address: 96 Central St, London EC1V 8AJ
3. The Avenue Cookery School
The Avenue Cookery School is arguably your best bet if you are looking to explore the boundaries of vegan cuisine – mainly because it ends up proving once and for all that there are no boundaries and that vegan diets are limitless when you are equipped with the knowledge and know-how.
The following courses are not strictly vegan, but they have the option to be entirely so on request. There is a paella workshop, where you will learn this iconic dish from Spain. Or, if it is more the nationally acclaimed food of India you are after, there is a curry course that shows you how the combination of the right spices and attitude makes for a very simple mealtime. Their falafel class is suitable for vegans – the only requirement is that you are a fan of delicious things. Their sushi and pizza classes are also vegan friendly.
Then we move on to their courses which are specifically vegan, which are particularly educational and wonderfully specific, ensuring you are armed with the best skills and recipes to turn your kitchen into a plant-based haven. There are too many classes to list them all, but the most popular are: Vegan Easy Christmas Class, Vegan Bottomless Brunch Class, Vegan Indian Cooking Class, Vegan Bao Class and Vegan Spanish Tapas Class. None of them even have the potential to disappoint!
Contact: 020 8874 7623
Address: 3 Enterprise Way, London SW18 1FZ
4. Spice Monkey
Last, but certainly not least, is Spice Monkey cookery school. Dedicated to Indian cuisine, you can be sure to learn all the best practices about a plant-based Indian meal. People often find themselves so familiar with the lamb vindaloo and chicken tikka served in most Western-Indian eateries that they forget that a large majority of Indian cuisine is already vegetarian. It is all about the correct spices and flavours, which Spice Monkey are experts of.
The step from vegetarian to vegan is not a difficult one when you know what you are doing, and Spice Monkey make sure of that before you leave their Simply Vegan class. The course puts focus on how you can make delicious, nutritious, protein dense meals without using meat or dairy, as well as helping you achieve the dreamiest dahl recipe. A special feature of Spice Monkey is that it has the option of private lessons, meaning it can be tailored to your diet and requirements.
Contact: 07956 468541
Address: 191 Victoria Rd, London N22 7XH
Food events in London go deeper than just food festivals or restaurants – courses such as these show that food events and experiences come in all shapes and sizes. Yes, these courses are extremely helpful for vegans looking to recreate some of their favourite dishes as well as learn how to make plant-focused meals, but it is also useful for those just looking to vary their diet, or make sure they are always able to cater for vegan guests. It is a course for everyone, that benefits everyone – especially the people you are cooking for!