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Educational Courses in Vegan and Vegetarian Cooking Reflect Rising Food Trends

In response to a significant shift in dietary preferences, TAFE NSW, Australia, is launching an innovative program aimed at equipping future chefs with the skills necessary to cater to the growing vegan and vegetarian market.

With an estimated 2.5 million Australians now identifying as vegan or vegetarian, a number steadily increasing over the past 10-years, there is a clear and growing demand for high-quality plant-based culinary options. "Research shows a substantial rise in plant-based diets among Australians," says TAFE NSW, confirming the need for a tailored educational response.

This initiative involves collaboration with high-profile industry professionals such as Cherie Hausler, vegan Chef and author, and others from venues like the Australian Turf Club and Emerald Room, renowned for its six course vegan degustation menu. These experts are helping to up-skill students through a state-wide virtual learning initiative, which includes filming vegan and vegetarian video recipes.

TAFE, NSW - Cherie Hausler shown right with cookery student

Source: TAFE, NSW - Cherie Hausler shown right with cookery student

“We need to ensure the training young chefs receive genuinely reflects the needs of the industry and realistic Australian diets,” says Cherie Hausler. “It’s not as simple as steaming some greens; thoughtful vegetarian and vegan cooking considers blending flavours, textures, colours, and other elements just as with meals using animal protein.”

This new course will be supported by the development of bite-sized, accessible video tutorials allowing TAFE students to learn sophisticated vegetarian and vegan cooking techniques from anywhere across New South Wales.

Crystal Browning, a TAFE NSW teacher involved in the project, says having professionals involved is imperative: “Having industry professionals like Cherie here in the kitchen with us, we’re able to create engaging content students can access from anywhere, helping bring this crucial training to the hospitality industry state-wide.”

Source: Cherie Hausler Instagram A slide showing some of Cherie's work

The videos, which will be shot over five days, are a core component of the Vegan and Vegetarian Cooking unit, now a compulsory part of the Certificate III Commercial Cookery courses. This initiative not only prepares students for a changing culinary landscape but also aligns educational offerings with the evolving preferences of consumers.

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