I’m now a graduate of Rouxbe Cooking School! This online course has been a challenge, a blast and I’m so glad I took it. Check out my review and final thoughts, as well as some of the dishes I created for my final task!
Rouxbe Online Cooking School: I’ve Completed the Online Cooking Course!
I did it! I’m a graduate of Rouxbe’s Plant-Based Professional Certification Course!
Since enrolling in the course six months ago, I have loved immersing myself in Rouxbe tasks and lessons. I’ve had the chance to learn about and review basic prep techniques, and make original recipes using completely plant-based ingredients. I’ve loved learning things like creating the perfect homemade manicotti from scratch. Most of all, challenging myself in new and different ways in the kitchen has been life changing.
Rouxbe Online Culinary School: Fun, Yet Challenging
The final portion of the course involved implementing lots of the foundational cooking techniques covered in the entire syllabus. I especially loved how Rouxbe taught these techniques in an order and way that made sense. I didn’t just read about or watch videos of techniques—I implemented them and really understood the how and why behind them.
After I took my final exam, Rouxbe gave me a breakdown of what I learned since I started the course:
My favorite part was creating dishes for my final cooking assignment: making canapés! Before I go into that, I just wanted to thank all of the Rouxbe chef instructors. They all gave such great feedback, guidance and encouragement throughout the course. In addition to the great platform and expert instruction, having them cheer you on and give insightful feedback was a great motivator to make each lesson count. Thanks Chefs Chad, Ken and Dawn for your expertise, enthusiasm and guidance, and for making it challenging and fun!
Rouxbe Cooking School: Plant-Based Creations I Made for My Final Lesson
Using what I learned throughout the course, I implemented the techniques into making these plant-based canapés. They were so fun to conceptualize and make!
Micro-Wedge Salad with Maitake Bacon, Toasted Walnut and Vegan Ranch
If you were around in the 80s, you probably ate a wedge salad or two. This was basically a big hunk of iceberg lettuce with bacon, eggs, sometimes walnuts and some kind of creamy dressing. This is a mini, veganized version of that concept.
Here I’ve used a raw Brussels sprout leaf, then layered it with smoky and salty maitake bacon. Toasted walnut pieces and some softened shallot rings were added. I made a vegan ranch dressing made with parsley, vegan Worcestershire, agave, garlic powder and a little black pepper. Each one was topped with a microgreen.
Sweet Watermelon Radishes on Toasted Rounds with Vegan Feta and Balsamic Reduction
I had never seen a watermelon radish until we moved from Boston to the West Coast. They are always plentiful here. Bright and crisp with a peppery bite, they resemble watermelon only in appearance. I either eat them raw or pickle them. For this canapé, I sprinkled them with sugar to offset some of their pepperiness. These rounds are tortilla wraps I cut out with a mold ring. Before assembling, I gave them a quick toast to in a lightly oiled cast iron pan.
One of my favorite recipes from Rouxbe is Chad Sarno’s raw, cultured cheese. It’s made with a raw nut base which is blended with probiotic powder. I left it out to culture overnight to develop a rich, cheesy flavor by the next day.
Once this cheese was cultured, I added enough salt until it resembled a crumbly dry feta cheese. A dot of this was placed between the round and radish to help them stick. I then added a touch of a balsamic reduction and layered again with more cheese. Fresh basil and black sesame seeds were used to top it off.
Vegan Scallop (King Oyster Mushroom) with Amaranth Caviar
I adore vegan scallops (king oyster mushroom stems) and wanted to use them here because they have such a nice texture. After slicing them and giving them a soak in some warm water, I scored them on the top. To develop some color around the edges, I seared them in a screaming hot stainless steel pan.
To make the amaranth caviar, I boiled the amaranth grain in beet juice until al dente. I then added in some balsamic, soy sauce and thyme in at the end. Once cooled, I placed into the refrigerator to chill. The beet color deepened and darkened overnight.
This was a really tiny one-bite canapé, and the flavors in the beet juice really gave it a nice flavor. This caviar doesn’t really pop or taste like traditional or other vegan caviar brands. However, I really like the way it looks!
One of the tasks at Rouxbe was to make a vegan brisket (I know!) It was the first time I braised anything, and figured out that braising is fantastic. Here I cut the brisket into super-thin strips, rolled with chopped scallions and drizzled with homemade teriyaki sauce. They look really pretty on the plate, and have an amazing texture and flavor!
Baked Cashew Cheese Tortellini with Dried Tomato, Shallots and Basil
The pasta unit was probably my favorite part of the course. Getting the right dough consistency, learning how to roll it out and cook it once done is a fun challenge. Rouxbe walks you through how to do each one. Here I made some cashew-cheese stuffed tortellini, topped with a dehydrated tomato slice, paper-thin shallot and fresh basil leaf. These were brushed with oil and baked, and made a fun two-bite appetizer.
Rouxbe generously waived my tuition in exchange for blogging about my experience and sharing my honest opinions about their Plant-Based Professional Certification Course.