First Vegan Culinary School Opens in Goa

plant-based wholefoods

India’s first all-vegan culinary school – The Vegan School – has been set up in Goa recently; its 11-week residential course will begin in September

Finally, India got its first vegan culinary school. Established in Goa, The Vegan School will train prospective chefs in all aspects of plant-based cooking. Its first residential course, spanning 11 weeks, will begin in September.

Nisha garg chef from Vegan School
Chef Nisha Garg preparing pasta

The Vegan School has been founded by husband-wife duo Ashish Santhalia and Nisha Garg. Ashish, also the course coordinator, has over five years of experience in the education sector. A Masters in Global Sales and Marketing from Austria, he is passionate about plant-based wholefoods.

Nisha Garg, who did her diploma in plant-based cooking, will be the chief instructor at the institute. She has over a decade of experience as chef and worked at Vaxthuset, a famous plant-based fine-dining restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden.

According to Ashish, they chose Goa for opening the School, in view of the sizeable vegan community and vegan restaurants present in the location, besides the easy availability of plant-based raw ingredients.

“The culinary course has been developed to meet the growing need to nudge people towards a plant-based diet. In 11 weeks, with over 70 culinary lessons we help you on the journey to becoming the vegan cook you've always wanted to be. We teach you to impact communities, friends and families with the healthiest and most delicious food on the planet. These lessons are taught by our smart and well-experienced specialized chefs. These lessons are easy to absorb and practise even for beginners. The course is 100% hands-on and practical,” he explains.

The programme will mainly focus on wholefoods and culinary wellness. During the course, the trainees will be learning about various cooking techniques, starting with knife skills. They will be introduced to making raw, gluten-free food and no-oil cooking. They can intern in any vegetarian or vegan restaurant across the world and can enjoy guest lectures from renowned chefs.

The classes will be held from Monday to Friday, with a fixed topic for discussion each day. Post-lunch, there will be demonstration of the day’s lesson and the students have to prepare the same. The Vegan School will also help the cooking enthusiasts improve their culinary vocabulary and prepare for a career in the field of plant-based food and nutrition. At the end of the programme, they will have to prepare a sit-down dinner for selected guests.