A student in a white ICE coat and hat takes a photo of a plant-based meal for online plant-based culinary school

Online - Plant-Based Culinary Arts

Get comprehensive and convenient online training in plant-based culinary skills and techniques with ICE's online Plant-Based Culinary Arts & Food Operations diploma program.

Diploma Program

100% Online Plant-Based Curriculum + Industry Externship*

Gain foundational, professional training in the techniques and art of plant-based cooking — from the convenience of your own kitchen. This 900-hour intensive curriculum is thoughtfully designed with aspiring culinary professionals in mind, even if all you've ever taken are a few vegan cooking classes. The program explores theory, science, technique, sustainability, palate development and culinary business fundamentals vital to professional success. A hands-on industry externship gives you the opportunity to enhance your skills and gain real-world cooking and baking experience.

There’s no need to put your life on hold to pursue your culinary passion!

If you’re unable to access an ICE campus in New York or Los Angeles, relocate or schedule consistent classes, you can still earn an ICE diploma in plant-based culinary arts. Students in a growing number of states can now enroll in our online program featuring a customized curriculum and experienced Chef-Instructors.

*The externship portion of this program must be completed in person.

Quick Facts

Program Name: Plant-Based Culinary Arts & Food Operations

Program Duration: 16 months

Weekly Virtual Classes: participate live or view on-demand

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ICE Plant-Based Culinary Arts Online Chef-Instructor Emilie Berner in a classroom

Curriculum Designed by Experts

The Online Plant-Based Culinary Arts & Food Operations diploma program has been expertly designed by our team of chefs and educators from ICE's New York and Los Angeles campuses. This unique program gives students of all ages who are unable to attend on-campus classes the skills and experience needed for a variety of roles at restaurants, hotels and other food service settings.

Training in Culinary Theory, Art & Science

Our online approach to plant-based culinary school education provides essential training in foundational principals of culinary arts — the theory, science and techniques that form the basis for major cuisines. In addition, students will study the fundamentals of pastry and baking, as well as food service operations and management. A typical week includes cooking a variety of dishes and cuisines, assigned readings, instructional videos, individual or group projects, and chef-led classes, which you can view live or on-demand.


A student in an ICE white uniform pours a beige sauce into a bowl of greens for plant based culinary school online

Weekly Culinary Labs in Your Own Kitchen

Our carefully designed labs give you the opportunity to apply what you have learned in readings, videos and chef-led classes. You’ll be using plant-based recipes designed to develop your palate and reinforce the techniques that are the core of cuisine. Some of the things we’ll teach are how to:

  • Use a knife to slice, dice and fabricate like a professional.
  • Turn stocks, vegetables and flavorings into soups and sauces.
  • Utilize the essential skills like grilling, sautéing, roasting and braising to prepare dishes from around the world.
  • Create breads, cakes and pies that make meals truly memorable.
  • Use principles of nutrition and sustainability to create thoughtful, inspired dishes and menus.


A student takes a photo on their phone of a salad for plant based culinary school online

ICE’s Proactive Assessment Model

The online plant-based culinary school curriculum is structured so students get assessed on their learning path several times a week. Chef-Instructors provide individual feedback on student's photos, videos and text submissions to support continual progress toward learning objectives and refinement of skills and techniques.


Chef in professional kitchen

Hands-On Industry Externship

Our career services team will help match you with a restaurant or food-related business that aligns with your professional goals in order for you to gain real-world experience. You'll put your culinary skills to the test, make connections in the industry and gain business knowledge you can use to launch your culinary career.

Guest Speakers_David Chang_Christina Tosi_Mashama Bailey_Thomas Keller

Past guest speakers have included (clockwise from top left): David Chang, chef, restaurateur, TV host and author; Christina Tosi, Milkbar founder and chef; Thomas Keller, chef and restaurateur, The French Laundry and Per Se, and ICE alumna Mashama Bailey, James Beard Award winner and executive chef of The Grey.

Professional Demonstrations and Extracurricular Programming

Experts from all over the nation visit ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles (in person and virtually) to lead professional development classes, demonstrations, lectures and events — most of which are available to students and alumni for no additional charge. Online students can take advantage of these exclusive opportunities when they are available, to watch, interact with and ask questions of successful epicureans from various areas of the industry.

ICE students toss their toques into the air at graduation

Graduation and Career Placement

Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll receive a diploma in Plant-Based Culinary Arts & Food Operations with the option to join our commencement ceremony in Los Angeles. You’ll also benefit from the ongoing support of our Career Services department, which has helped more than 17,900 graduates secure jobs in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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Online Program Schedule

ICE is approved to offer online distance education to students in select states. The online Plant-Based Culinary Arts & Food Operations program is taught asynchronously, which means you are not required to login to a virtual course at a specified time

Tuition includes all books and supplies, including a laptop, so you're fully equipped from day one. All online Plant-Based Culinary Arts & Food Operations program students are also eligible to take our popular Wine Essentials series on campus at no additional charge. Visit our Tuition and Discounts page for complete information on the cost for specific class dates.

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Online (weekly)

  • Program duration: 16 months
  • Hours: approximately 18 hours per week
  • Start Dates: June 26

Take the Next Step Toward a Culinary 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 and 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.

Learn about Career Services

Attending a well-established school like ICE has many benefits, including the vast professional network available to students from day one. With campus recruitment from top hospitality brands, regular ‘hot job’ emails, and ongoing support long after graduation, your Career Services team is here to help.

Explore Our Career Services Page. 


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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LA Career Brochure

NY Career Brochure

A pie of colorful fruit pie sits on a white plate for plant-based culinary school online

ICE’s Online Plant-Based Culinary Arts & Food Operations program contains 16 courses, offering students comprehensive training in the art and actual practice of plant-based cooking. The 60-week program is designed so students can attend classes on their own schedule each week. Expert chef-instructors from ICE’s Los Angeles and New York City campuses introduce students to the time-tested fundamentals of cooking, cuisines from around the globe and techniques from modern masters.

Many culinary professionals work hand-in-hand with business leaders or run their own businesses outright. To enhance students' education, the Online Plant-Based Culinary Arts & Food Operations includes multiple business and operations courses. These important sessions will introduce you to skills and topics such as marketing, purchasing and staff management. Operations courses are taken concurrently with culinary courses. 

The final course in the program is an off-site externship at a location chosen by the student based on their career goals. ICE's Career Services advisors consider the student's career aspirations, skills, schedule and academic record to ensure the most beneficial externship placement.

The program is constructed as follows:

Course 1


13 hours

This course is designed to familiarize students with best practices for success in our online programs and in the restaurant industry.

Topics include:

  • An introduction to the learning management system
  • Tools for success regarding internet research and time management
  • The expected tenets of professionalism in the food service industry
Course 2


90 hours

Focusing on fundamental culinary techniques and criteria for selecting quality ingredients, this course will offer an introduction to the foundation for preparing health-supportive, whole-foods cuisine. We will also teach stock, soup and sauce preparations.

Course highlights:

  • Introduction to classical techniques: poach, simmer boil, blanch, steam, shock, braise, stew, puree, sweat, caramelize, deglaze, dredging, pan fry, stir fry, bake broil, toast, roast, grill, sauté
  • Stock, sauce, soups & stews

Dishes include:

  • Rich tempeh bordelaise with slow-braised cabbage and creamy pomme puree
  • Roasted curry squash soup with infused turmeric oil, topped with broiled peppers & toasted pepitas
  • Spicy mapo tofu with gently steamed rice & braised fennel
Course 3


21 hours

This course is designed to acquaint students with the realities of a culinary business by exploring concept — from creativity to profitability. By surveying the industry, students explore all types of operations and analyze concepts, as well as research feasibility and location selection. Students gain the knowledge required to develop and refine their ideas.

This course also gives a comprehensive view of key aspects of the menu, including planning, pricing, layout, and design. Students prepare sample menus as a project.

Course 4


60 hours

In this course, we continue education on plant-forward cuisine to include a variety of whole foods and share innovative ways to work with vegetables. This course show students how to put plants at the center of the plate and make them the star of the dish. 

Course highlights

  • Working with bulbs & cruciferous vegetables
  • Leafy greens & mushrooms
  • Root vegetables & squash varietals 
  • Mastering sea vegetables

Dishes include:

  • Jackfruit pulled pork sandwich with zucchini fries and romesco sauce
  • Slow simmered vegan cassoulet & country-style celery root salad
  • Tofu & mixed vegetable stir fry with kelp noodles, hijiki “caviar,” & gomasio
  • Cheesy mushroom gratin, stuffed and steamed collard leaves topped with crispy shiitake “bacon”
Course 5


30 hours

A working understanding of numbers is critically important to culinary success. The curriculum for this course focuses on the use of financial statements as a tool for control and decision-making, with emphasis on budgets, industry standards and variation analyses.

Topics include:

  • How to create and manage balance sheets and statements of net income
  • An introduction to break-even analysis, cash flow, and financing
  • Examination of real-life case studies
Course 6


60 hours

In this course, we prepare items featuring whole grains, beans, vegetables and non-dairy alternatives. We also teach how to ferment, pickle and sprout foods, as well as how to make alternative cheese & plant-based butter.

Course highlights:

  • Beautiful beans & grains
  • The art of fermentation, pickling, sprouting
  • Alternative cheeses & butter

Dishes include:

  • Soft polenta with mushroom ragu & parsley salad
  • Falafel with whipped hummus, chickpea flatbread, & tahini yogurt sauce
  • Carrot “lox” crostini with creamy vegan cashew cheese
  • Spiced black bean burgers with chimichurri herb sauce, curtido slaw & charred iceberg lettuce
Course 7


27 hours

In this course, students receive an introduction to the study of the principles of human nutritional needs. Students examine current dietary guidelines, the function of nutrients, and dietary preferences. The course highlights the relationship between diet, health, disease and how applied nutrition can benefit not only immune-challenged populations, but average healthy populations as well.

Topics include:

  • Modifying existing menus and dishes to optimize nutritional content
  • Insight into balancing the current trends in nutritional study with culinary and baking techniques
Course 8


60 hours

In this course, students apply their growing command of health-supportive techniques to protein sources. Protein comes in a variety of forms – both plant and animal. We teach how to prepare soy foods and eggs in a health-conscious way, and how to work with store-bought protein alternatives.

Course highlights:

  • Classic egg techniques
  • Working with tofu, tempeh and seitan
  • Plant-based protein alternatives

Dishes include:

  • Eggs Florentine: poached eggs on a toasted English muffin with freshly made hollandaise sauce and wilted spinach
  • Hand-made tofu and mixed baby greens with a creamy tofu horseradish dressing
  • Charred stuffed poblano pepper with pan-seared tempeh sausages & grits
  • Smoky nut “chorizo” tacos, grilled pineapple salsa & hand-pressed tortillas
Course 9


27 hours

Strategies for purchasing and control are vital for the success of any culinary operation. This course examines labor, beverage and food costs and revenue control. Purchasing guidelines, inventory and control, employee-performance standards, productivity and scheduling, use of point-of-sale systems, computers, and new technology are also reviewed.

Course 10


90 hours

The quality of our baking and desserts can benefit from using ingredients that are more natural, unprocessed and whole. In this course, we convert conventional baking recipes to alternatives featuring whole-grain flours and less-refined sweeteners, without sacrificing taste or texture. You will also prepare baked goods and desserts that meet special dietary needs, such as vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. We will explore the art and science of baking, and focus on yeasted breads, quick breads, pizza and focaccia.

Course highlights:

  • Yeasted doughs: pizza, bread, focaccia
  • Cookies, doughs & mixing methods
  • Galettes, pies & tarts
  • Cake baking & decorating
  • Custards: baked & boiled
  • Sweet & savory soufflés

Dishes include:

  • Pizza with tofu ricotta cheese & savory sundried tomato pesto
  • Tender apple galette, flaky sweet potato pecan pie, caramelized onion tart
  • Zesty olive oil citrus cake with orange supremes & fluffy vegan buttercream frosting
  • Tangy lemon semi-freddo & crunchy pomegranate granita
Course 11


21 hours

Effective communication is essential for success in all areas of food service, from management to menus. This course will use restaurant related scenarios to allow students to develop their skills including reviews, blogs, tweets and press releases as they explore the relationship between communication and public relations.

Course 12


60 hours

Cooking in restaurants involves learning everything from the preparation of sandwiches, breakfasts foods, and hors d’oeuvres, as well how to cook for special diets, allergies and food restrictions. In this course, students are taught how to develop adaptive culinary skills that will aid their service of customers facing dietary challenges or specifications. 

Course highlights: 

  • Cooking for special diets: keto, paleo, gluten-free
  • Sandwiches, hors d’oeuvres
  • Breakfast cookery

Dishes include:

  • Light sweet potato waffles with rich cashew cream & sticky caramelized apples
  • Crispy cauliflower crust pizza with creamy alfredo sauce, topped with fresh arugula & shiitake “bacon”
  • Roasted kabocha squash salad with baby lettuces, cumin-spiced pumpkin seeds and pomegranate dressing
  • Zucchini peanut “noodle” bowls with marinated lemongrass tofu & seared sriracha green beans


Course 13


21 hours

Great leadership goes beyond good management and permeates a culture. This course will explore leadership variables, the power of vision, the importance of ethics, the empowerment of people, leadership principles, understanding people, multiplying effectiveness, developing others, and performance management.

Additionally, in this course students will identify their own leadership styles. They'll explore how best to utilize them to maximize leadership through organizational change and team building.

Course 14


60 hours

This course extends the emphasis on international cuisines as it explores food and specialty dishes from Asia, the Americas, the Middle-East, Europe and Africa. Within each area that we will explore it is important to note that these are not monolithic cultures, but instead each one has nuances within regions, towns, even households. One person’s curry may vastly differ from another.

And so, we encourage exploring these rich, international cuisines with cultural competence and humility. 

Course highlights: 


  • Cooking from the Americas
  • Asian cuisine
  • African & Middle-Eastern cuisines
  • Cooking from Europe

Dishes include:

  • Fluffy corn tamales & rich mole negro served with crispy avocado fritters & pineapple-beet agua fresca
  • Velvety vegetable curry with flaky whole grain roti, fresh cucumber raita, chickpea masala & spiced chai tea
  • Glazed okonomiyaki cabbage pancakes, crispy tempeh yakitori, simmered savory egg custard
  • Tender sweet potato gnocchi, stewed Tuscan white bean ragout, char-grilled radicchio & pesto
Course 15


60 hours

The link between diet, lifestyle and wellness is well-established, and this course will provide perspectives on this relationship by looking at cardiovascular system health, the microbiome and detoxification systems.

On the culinary side, today’s kitchens rely on innovative ideas and modern techniques to produce their signature dishes. In this course, students study the methods, and flavors that master chefs are currently using to take food to the next level and create enjoyable dining experiences. 

Course highlights: 

  • Food & the immune system
  • Food & healing: Kitchen pharmacy
  • Spa & raw foods
  • Cooking of the masters

Dishes include:

  • Simmered rice & lentils kitchadi, tangy cilantro chutney, warm spiced golden milk
  • Fiery kimchi fried rice, miso glazed tempeh, bright broccoli slaw
  • Stewed shiitake mushroom congee with roasted edamame & broccoli
  • Chilled velvety cucumber avocado soup, crunchy jicama salad, savory black bean burgers with sweet mango salsa, pomegranate blueberry elixir
Course 16


200 hours

This is the last course in the program, during which students work in a foodservice-related site. While ICE strongly recommends that students extern in restaurant kitchens, they may request venues such as hotels, catering companies, corporate dining rooms, or test kitchens in accordance with their professional goals.

Plant-Based Culinary Arts Graduate Gianna Longo

“I enrolled in the Plant-Based Culinary Arts program because I was vegan for four years and I felt like it was always more creative — there were a lot of different things you could do with it. I found ICE and I felt like it was a perfect fit for me."

Gianna Longo
Plant-Based Culinary Arts