I am halfway through Rouxbe’s Plant-Based Professional Certification Course! Read my previous updates about Rouxbe here, here and here.
When I put Halfway Complete! into this blog post title, I was so happy looking back at my progress so far at Rouxbe—what I’ve achieved, the connections I’ve made, the bad habits I’ve broken and the new techniques I’ve learned and perfected.
But it also makes me kind of sad. I only have halfway more to go! I’ve loved the process of going through each task, especially the hands-on cooking tasks—putting together my mise en place, learning about and practicing a new technique or plating my finished dish. It’s been a rewarding and positive experience so far, so I’m going to relish that as I dive into my tasks for the next half of the course. Is it going to be a lot of hard work? yes. But will it also be fun and worth it? If it’s anything like the first half of the course—which I’m sure it will be—then absolutely.
Up until I started Rouxbe, I mostly relied on the Internet to learn about cooking. But the information that I found randomly online—although useful—often didn’t flow together in a way that made much sense. When looking at several sites to learn how dishes were prepared, the information I found was inconsistent and sometimes even had conflicting instructions, because they were written by different authors with varying levels of expertise.
So what I love and appreciate most about Rouxbe at this point in the course is that by teaching foundational cooking techniques, methods and principles, it’s guided me along on an orderly task-based path that flows seamlessly together in a way that makes sense. The course starts with basic tasks, then weaves those tasks into more advanced tasks, creating opportunities to form connections that I wasn’t able to make from my previous random visits online. And because it’s designed by Chef Chad Sarno, a leader in the plant-based cooking world, the course content is top-notch, consistent and comprehensive. Best of all, it not only expertly instructs, but also empowers. With the completion of each task, I feel a little more confident, a little more excited and, well … a little more legit in the kitchen.
For one of my recent tasks, I made Rouxbe’s vegan pho stock.
Adding things like star anise, cinnamon, mint, orange slices and cloves with carrots, onion and dried shiitake was new to me. I usually just throw frozen vegetable scraps into a pot and let caramelize then simmer to make homemade stock. Never again! I loved how this recipe produced a beautiful aroma and the best golden stock I’ve ever made.
Once the stock was cooled, I strained it and pulled together ingredients for the next step: Rouxbe’s vegan pho with greens and mushrooms. Cooked rice noodles, crunchy snap peas and fresh bok choy were placed into the bowl, then finished with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, sliced jalepeños and mushrooms. I loved making and eating this gorgeous pho, which has gone straight to the top of our list of “go-to” dishes.
If you are considering taking the course yourself, Rouxbe’s next seating starts May 7. You are given six months to complete the course at your own pace. If you are curious but not sure you want to enroll yet, you can also sign up for a free seven-day trial and try it out for yourself.
Stay tuned for another Rouxbe update sometime next month: I am looking forward to sharing with you what I’ve learned and done in the following weeks!
Rouxbe generously waived my tuition in exchange for blogging about my experience and sharing my honest opinions about their Plant-Based Professional Certification Course.