plant-based culinary arts students

Plant-Based Culinary Arts

This popular career program offers a holistic approach to nutrition-minded, plant-based cooking, with a focus on whole foods and wellness.

Diploma Program

Harvest a Health-Forward Future

The Institute of Culinary Education’s Plant-Based Culinary Arts career-training program (formerly Health-Supportive Culinary Arts) provides foundational, professional training in the techniques and art of cooking with a focus on plant-based cooking, whole foods and sustainability. Offered at our New York and Los Angeles campuses, the program typically takes between eight and 13 months to complete, with morning, afternoon and evening class schedules available.

With a vegetable-forward and health-conscious curriculum, our plant-based program appeals to students living a vegetarian, vegan or health-conscious lifestyle who want a comprehensive culinary education. Students can choose to apply for the Plant-Based Culinary Arts diploma program, or pursue an associate degree in plant-based culinary arts at ICE’s Los Angeles campus.

Quick Facts

Program Name: Career Plant-Based Culinary Arts

Program Duration: 8-13 months

Class Times: morning, afternoon and evening/weekend

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Nationally Accredited Plant-Based Program

ICE's health-supportive, plant-based cooking curriculum was originally developed by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., who pioneered the concept of food as medicine in America and founded the acclaimed Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI). In 2019, the two organizations collaborated to offer NGI's unique plant-forward approach to cooking at ICE. Today, the nationally-accredited program combines a holistic view of food and nutrition, with creativity and innovation in every kitchen classroom.

Food and Healing Through Plant-Based Cooking

Food has the powerful potential to heal the body. Our plant-forward cooking classes focus on the health-supportive qualities of ingredients and cooking techniques. In the kitchen, students will be taught how to prepare raw foods, living foods, spa and retreat specialties and how to improvise using seasonal ingredients. In the classroom, our expert instructors will discuss the link between diet, lifestyle and wellness by looking at cardiovascular system health, food and the immune system, the microbiome and detoxification systems. The program will also explore popular diets  including paleo, keto, Ayurveda and macrobiotics.

Assorted plant-based dishes from the Plant-Based Culinary Arts curriculum

Foundations of the Plant-Based Curriculum

Seven specific criteria for making mindful and deliberate decisions when sourcing ingredients lie at the foundation of ICE’s Plant-Based Culinary Arts curriculum. These ingredient-sourcing criteria — whole, fresh, seasonal, traditional, balanced, local and delicious — promote a sustainable food system with regard for natural resources and people, while empowering chefs and cooks to lead the conversation about food, wellness and health. These principles extend to the pastry modules, which use ingredients that are more natural, unprocessed and whole. Students are taught how to convert conventional baking recipes to alternatives featuring whole-grain flours and less-refined sweeteners, and how to prepare baked goods and desserts that meet special dietary needs, such as vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.

hydroponic farm

Farm-to-Classroom Cuisine

The indoor hydroponic garden at our NY campus has grown over 250 crop varieties to date in a controlled environment. Students may explore the hydroponic garden alongside the farm manager and their Chef-Instructors to taste herbs and freshly picked produce. Utilizing LED technology and hydroponic irrigation, we grow dozens of crops year-round that can be used in plant-based cooking. This innovative on-campus resource expands students’ palates and inspires their culinary creativity.

Some vegetable-forward restaurants where students could extern include Dirt Candy, Egg, abcV, Untitled and Avant Garden.

Hands-On Externships

To complete the program, students apply the plant-based cooking skills and techniques taught in the classroom to professional kitchens and food businesses through a 200-hour hands-on externship. Our career services experts will then help you find the right position for gaining work experience and building a professional network in your desired field.

Study at the Campus of Your Choice

Culinary School Chef Instructor teaching at the Institute of Culinary Education To provide the utmost flexibility, you can pursue your plant-based culinary education in-person at an ICE campus in New York or Los Angeles. We offer a wide variety of schedule options, including morning, afternoon, evening, or weekend schedules depending on which campus you choose (weekends schedules are only available in NY). Classes meet between two, three or five times per week.

Recognizing that not every student can attend classes in New York or Los Angeles, ICE also offers an online Plant-Based Culinary Arts & Food Operations diploma program. The online program offers students the opportunity to fit their course and lab work into their daily schedule at times that work for them. 

Tuition and fees include a culinary tool kit, knives, uniforms and books so you're fully equipped for your kitchen classroom from day one. Tuition also includes ICE’s popular Wine Essentials series. Visit our Tuition and Discounts page for complete information on the cost for specific class dates and times.

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NY - Plant-Based Culinary Arts

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LA - Plant-Based Culinary Arts

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Online - Plant-Based Culinary Arts

Take the Next Step Toward A Plant-Based Cooking Career

The admissions process is the start of a lasting relationship with ICE. Your Admissions Representative will introduce you to the personal experience the culinary arts school is known for. Their mission is to understand your career goals, help you select the right program(s) to fit your needs and your interests. 

Why Choose ICE

You know it's in you — the ambition to pursue a rewarding career in food. ICE is ready to help you find your culinary voice and achieve your culinary career dreams.

12 Reasons Why You Should Choose ICE.

International Students

Like the cities our campuses inhabit, ICE is a hub of multiculturalism. We’re proud to have had students from 44+ countries choose ICE for their career training and we celebrate the unique perspective an international student body provides. International students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in America’s major food cities, by attending our New York City or Los Angeles campuses and completing an industry externship. It’s no wonder students come from around the world to Find Their Culinary Voice at ICE.

Learn about International Students at ICE.


Ready to take your interest in ICE further? Speak to an Admissions Representative about your personal goals, start your application or download our career brochure so you can access our program information anytime.

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NY Career Brochure

LA Career Brochure

The Most Critical Connections of Your Career Are Often Right Next to You.

Tour the classrooms at our campuses in New York and Los Angeles and you'll see a diversity of age, experience, background and goals. When looking for good culinary schools, students come from all over the United States and around the world to attend ICE.

Some are at the start of their careers, studying at ICE to embark on a plant-based culinary career. Others are career changers who want to enter a new field. And some students have already worked in the food industry and want to sharpen their skills in pursuit of better opportunities.

Learn more about Student Life at ICE

Shenarri Freeman Cooking Demonstration

"ICE has prepared me for any work experience simply by teaching me how to be organized, teaching me all of the proper techniques and bridging the gaps between vegan food and what that perception looks like for people who aren't used to dealing with it."

Shenarri Freeman
Health-Supportive Culinary Arts Graduate, Executive Chef, Cadence

Professional Demonstrations and Extracurriculars

ICE offers enrichment classes focused on cooking and beverage-related aspects of the food industry, free for alumni and students. Experts from all over the world come to ICE to teach, lecture and cook for our students, providing the exclusive opportunity to watch, interact with and ask questions of these successful epicureans. What's more, ICE hosts great culinary entrepreneurs, from California winemakers and New Orleans head chefs to food website founders and specialty food company presidents, as part of our Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs series.