Learning how to cook (without recipes) was one of the most transformative experiences in my journey to better health. And I couldn’t have done it without Rouxbe Culinary School.
From “I Can Cook.” to Rouxbe Culinary School
It all started one afternoon when I found myself scribbling “I CAN COOK.” on a blank notecard with a thick Sharpie. I taped it onto my wall next to a few other notecards and longingly gazed at it for a few minutes. I had just started learning about the power of affirmations and cooking was something I needed to do more of.
Thanks to the changes I had been making over the past few months, I had already mastered smoothies and juicing. As for cooking a decent lunch or dinner, especially one that was both supportive of my health and delicious, I was stumped. Was that even possible?
Fast forward months later, my dad suffered from a massive heart attack and was rushed into quadruple open heart surgery after going into cardiac arrest. My life turned upside down and soon I found myself at home with my parents as my dad recovered slowly. I enrolled in a health coaching program and now my desire to learn how to cook was stronger than ever. It had turned into a necessity as I supported my dad’s transition to a plant-based lifestyle.
Months later, I finally enrolled in Rouxbe’s Professional Plant-Based Certification Course.
So Why Did I Enroll at Rouxbe?
I wanted to learn how to make healthy plant-based food taste delicious. That was honestly my biggest driver. I had been a vegetarian all my life but had a tendency to eat a very rare amount of vegetables (I’m sure a few of you could relate). All too often, I’d jokingly introduce myself as the vegetarian who hated vegetables.
So what did I eat instead? Pasta, bread, cheese, more cheese, basically anything that wasn’t green in color. Once I started making changes to my diet, I noticed immediate improvements in my own health. I knew I had just experienced the powerful effect of vegetables and fruits on my life. Was it possible to make food taste delicious without jeopardizing my health (aka the only way I knew how to make anything taste delicious was to sprinkle large amounts of cheese on it)?
After making multiple calls to Rouxbe before I finally enrolled. It was an investment and I wanted to make sure it was right for me. Jon, who I talked to numerous times when I’d called Rouxbe, left a lasting impression on me. He was so helpful, delightful, kind, and extremely supportive in my long list of questions about the course.
I spent hours reading countless reviews and looked at other courses on the market. Let’s just say I even created a spreadsheet comparing all my options to make sure Rouxbe was the one for me. It was hands-down the best option for me and I’m so grateful I chose Rouxbe.
What I Learned from Rouxbe
I learned HOW to create recipes on my own. The formula. The science. And most importantly, WHY. I learned how to develop flavor and taste. As an analytical person, I thrive on this method of learning. I never understood how some people are able to just “whip up” delicious meals. In search for a step-by-step systematic approach, I needed a course that broke down the entire process and gave me a new perspective on cooking rather than blindly following a recipe I found on Pinterest. I wanted to feel empowered in the kitchen and learn the HOW and WHY instead of just what to do next.
Early in the course, I remember learning how to handle a chef’s knife and it was truly a transformative experience for me. I remember just how happy I felt when I realized how easy it was to use one. Soon I got rid of all those chopping gadgets and learned to rely on my knife. I learned how to slice, dice, julienne, chop, everything in a fast, beautiful, and safe manner. And that was only the beginning of the course.
I started falling in love with the process of cooking, becoming more present, and enjoying it. Prepping all of the ingredients before starting the cooking process not only saved time but also made the cooking experience more pleasant. I honestly can’t explain just how much I learned from Rouxbe. For me, it was a change in attitude and how I looked at cooking altogether. It went from being a chore I dreaded to an exciting experience and realizing that I could actually make delicious meals, from scratch.
Who is Rouxbe for?
Honestly, I think it’s for anyone who wants to be able to cook on their own. I believe cooking is a skill that everyone should master at some point in their lives because eating is something we’re going to be doing for the rest of our lives. So it’s worthwhile to take the time to learn how to cook a good meal that’s not only nourishing to our body but also delightful to our taste buds. I think it’s perfect for the home cook, food blogger, aspiring chefs, and really anyone who wants to make food taste delicious.
Is Rouxbe worth it?
Absolutely, in my opinion. While you could probably piece together everything from watching countless videos and articles on the internet, Rouxbe gave me the exact tools I needed to move forward in what turned into a new career for me. It helped me build a solid foundation to build upon. I’d retake the course every year because there’s probably so much more I could have learned. Lucky for us students, you don’t lose access to your course and can go back and watch videos and go through the assignments anytime you want!
Plant-Based Professional Course
As I mentioned earlier, I enrolled in the Professional Plant-Based Certification Course. It was an intensive 6-month long online course developed with Chef Chad Sarno. It involved 120 hours of coursework. Whew! Yes, that’s a lot of work but isn’t that what you’d want when you’re making that kind of investment? The course included more than 200 instructional techniques and videos, personalized instructor grading, access to a student community, and live events featuring expert guest speakers on various topics related to food and health! And yes, you do receive a certificate upon graduating. It costs, as of the time I’m writing this blog post, $1,299.99.
But it’s online. How does my work even get evaluated?
This is one of my favorite parts of Rouxbe. Throughout the course, there are quite a lot of cooking assignments that needed to be completed in order to graduate. Every assignment is personally graded by a teacher with feedback and a grade. The feedback is so in-depth and the bar is high. I had to submit multiple photos for every assignment along with a write-up. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen during this period. But after I’d submit the homework, I would look forward to receiving feedback on my hard work. It was always personalized, encouraging, empowering, thorough, and extremely helpful in me moving forward. Not once did I feel like I was doing the course alone.
I love that you get to see the other students in class (which are all over the globe) and see how far other students have progressed. Each task is associated to points so you can see who has the most points and when you’re falling behind. As someone who is slightly competitive, this aspect kept me on track and prevented me from falling behind. There’s an entire team of Rouxbe culinary instructors who are ready to answer any questions I had and guide my experience.
Rouxbe Course Format + Time Commitment
Rouxbe is pretty intensive and just like anything else in life, you have to make time for it. I found myself spending around 10 hours a week on it. Sometimes it would be all be to spend one day a week (like the weekend) whereas other days I’d spread the work out throughout the week.
The course is divided into units. Each unit is divided into a number of tasks. Some of the tasks include reading material while others include videos. Then there are assignment tasks that take the longest amount of time and hands-on work. For these, it was important to plan ahead as I’d need to buy groceries and any tools I might need.
While you have plenty of time to complete the course, it’s important to start early and use the full amount of time. Make the time commitment so you don’t feel rushed through the course at the end.
I also loved how at the beginning of each unit there is an assessment that tests how much you think you know. And then you are tested again at the end of the module to see how much you’ve learned throughout the unit. I realized just how little I knew about food and how fascinating it all was.
The Power of Cooking
Learning how to cook without relying on recipes may have been the most transformative part of my health journey. It’s not only empowered me in the kitchen, boosted my health, but also given me the confidence to help others and start and build Real + Vibrant with my own recipes, create countless bowls, and other dishes. After a successful career in corporate technology, it’s helped me transition to a full-time career in wellness. If you’re looking to improve your cooking skills and want to gain that experience from the comfort of your own kitchen, I highly recommend Rouxbe. Cooking is one skill we’ll need for the rest of our lives so why not learn how to do it the right way?
Rouxbe Discount Code
Rouxbe has been generous enough to offer a 10% discount code for all Real + Vibrant readers. Just use code REALANDVIBRANT for 10% off any of the professional courses! And if you have any specific questions you’d like me to chat more about, let me know below or feel free to reach out directly via Instagram!