Learning how to cook led to a new career, my first cookbook, and so much more. As a graduate of Rouxbe Cooking School, I share my thoughts, experience, and an exclusive discount code.
This review was originally published on August 10, 2018. Since then, I've updated it with more details of my experience based on the questions I've received over the past year.
It all started one afternoon when I found myself writing “I CAN COOK.” on a blank notecard with a thick Sharpie. I had just started learning about the power of affirmations.
Cooking was something I had a desire to do more of - and to do it well.
While I'd been a vegetarian all my life, my diet consisted mostly of sandwiches, cheese, pasta, and very few vegetables. All too often, I’d jokingly introduce myself as a vegetarian who hated vegetables.
I had started making changes to my diet and was already starting to experience the power of whole foods. While I had already mastered smoothies and juicing, cooking a filling meal that was both supportive of my health and delicious felt challenging.
Was that even possible?
Fast forward a few months later, my dad suffered from a heart attack and was rushed into quadruple open heart surgery. My life turned upside down and I found myself back at home with my parents in the Midwest.
Why I Picked Rouxbe Cooking School
My desire to learn how to cook was stronger than ever. It soon turned into a necessity as I helped my dad transition to a plant-based lifestyle.
I wanted to learn how to make plant-based food taste delicious. Period.
I never understood how some people are able to just “whip up" delicious meals. In a 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.
That's when I discovered Rouxbe’s Professional Plant-Based Certification Course.
However, paying $1,500 for an online course was a big investment, especially since I wasn't working at the time. I spent hours researching the course, reading countless reviews, comparing other courses (I even made a detailed spreadsheet!), and learning everything I could.
I made multiple calls to Rouxbe's customer service. Jon, who I talked to numerous times, left a lasting impression on me. He was so helpful, delightful, kind, and extremely supportive in my (very) long list of questions about the course.
I finally came to a decision that Rouxbe was hands-down the best option for me!
Plant-Based Professional Course
I enrolled in the Professional Plant-Based Certification Course. A few important details about the course format and what to expect:
- 6-month long online course, developed with Chef Chad Sarno. You must complete it within the time period to pass the course.
- More than 200 instructional techniques and videos. The course is divided into units and each unit is divided into a number of tasks. Some of the tasks include reading material while others include videos.
- 120 hours of coursework. Yes, that's a lot of work but isn't that what you'd want if you were making that kind of investment?
- Tests at the beginning and end of each unit. At the beginning of each unit there is an assessment that tests how much you think you know. After the module is completed, you are tested again. This allows you to measure how much you've learned throughout the unit.
- Personalized instructor grading. This was my favorite part and I go into it in more detail below.
- Access to a student community. I joined the Facebook community as soon as I signed up.
- Live events featuring expert guest speakers on various topics related to food and health!
- A certificate upon graduating.
Who is Rouxbe Cooking School for?
So who is Rouxbe cooking school a great fit for?
- Home cooks
- Food bloggers
- Aspiring chefs
- Anyone who wants to make food taste delicious
I believe cooking is a skill that everyone should master at some point in their lives. Since eating is something we’re going to be doing for the rest of our lives, perhaps it's worthwhile to learn how to cook great meals.
What I Learned at 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 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. Preparing the ingredients beforehand not only saved time but also made the cooking 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. I realized I could actually make delicious meals, from scratch.
Assignments and Feedback
As mentioned above, there are quite a number of cooking assignments that needed to be completed in order to graduate.
For each assignment, I had to submit multiple photos along with a write-up. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen completing these assignments.
As soon as I'd submit an assignment, I'd find myself eagerly looking forward to receiving feedback on my work. This is because every assignment is personally graded by a teacher with feedback and a grade.
While the instructor can't taste your food (the only downfall of an online course), the feedback was:
- Always personalized
- In-depth and detailed
- Helpful in me moving forward.
Not once did I feel like I was doing the course alone. Beyond the assignments, there was an entire team of Rouxbe culinary instructors who were available to answer my questions and offer guidance.
I was also able to see a list of all the students enrolled in my class and view their progress. Each task is assigned a number of points so you can see who has accrued the most points and how you're doing in comparison. This kept me on track and prevented me from falling behind.
One of the biggest questions I get asked is if it's possible to complete the program while working a full-time job. I believe it certainly is with a little planning and time management.
Rouxbe is an intensive program and you certainly need to make time for it.
Here's what I found helpful:
- Set Realistic Expectations: I spent around 10-12 hours a week working through each of the units and completing assignments. This included videos, readings, and hands-on time in the kitchen. I'd either spread this time across the weekends or throughout the week.
- Plan Ahead: I found it valuable to plan ahead and purchase groceries and tools I needed for each assignment. I'd also try to complete assignments that required the same ingredients together.
- Don't Procrastinate: While you have plenty of time to complete the course, it's important to start from the beginning. Make the time commitment upfront so you don't feel rushed and overwhelmed at the end.
Is Rouxbe Cooking School Worth It?
Short answer: Yes, absolutely!
Long Answer: I may have been able to piece together everything from watching countless videos and articles on the internet over a period of time. However, Rouxbe gave me the exact tools I needed to start a new career. It helped me lay a solid foundation to build upon.
As a student, I also get lifetime access to the course material. Therefore, I can review videos and assignments whenever I need to.
Rouxbe Discount Code
And if you have any specific questions you'd like me to chat more about, feel free to reach out directly via Instagram!
Learning how to cook without relying on recipes may have been the most transformative part of my health journey. It empowered me in the kitchen, boosted my health, and gave me the confidence to start Real + Vibrant. and the tools to write my first cookbook.
If you want to improve your cooking skills from the comfort of your own kitchen, I highly recommend Rouxbe cooking school.
Cooking is one skill we'll need for the rest of our lives so why not learn how to do it the right way?