Monday, January 19, 2009

I want to be a Chef...

And it seems the world won't let that happen. The only places that offer a Chef Certification program for vegans are in NYC, Portland, Hawaii, and Austin [[I think?]]. Unless I want to move across the country, or to a highly competitive, expensive city-- I'm screwed. Progressive places seem to be so far away. The best Andrew and I could come up with is emailing various schools in our area to see if they would accommodate a vegan.

There's a program in Cincinnati that sounded interesting. Cincinnati State offers a two-year program that then continues on to University of Cincinnati where you get your bachelors in Culinary Arts and Science. Naturally, however, a lot of the classes require butchering, working with meat, eggs, and dairy-- but a lot of that could easily be substituted. The eggs and dairy are easy to work around, but they seem to be pretty touchy about their butchery classes. Andrew tried emailing the schools about an independent study, in place of that class, where I could work with other proteins. They didn't like that, though.

It seems ignorance prevails in this world. In spite of the fact that vegan programs are popping up around the country [[and world]] to accommodate this growing sect of the population, people spit on it as insignificant.

The letter from Cincinnati's culinary program:

We represent a 580 billion industry and we feed about 50 million people per day who are protein eaters. Why cant you be a learner rather then a person on your own personal cause. I respect your dietary practices but your same group represents about 5 percent of the total dining population. As long as I am a chef we will not give up the practice of butchery because it it part of all culinary programs and will remain as a vital component of our program take the class you might learn something As Brendan Beahan wrote 'Once a man turns off his learning lights ignorance prevails'
Chef Kinsella CMC WCMC"



Anonymous said...

What a telling reply. I was chatting with a friend who went to kitchen school & he told me his teacher suggested deliberately putting chicken broth or whatever in veggie food. They viewed veg*ns as idiot scum.

I love the bit where he gets all defensive about the "practice of butchery". And the quote about ignorance. What a treat!

Anyway, you don't need these numpties to be a chef :)

Andrew Warner said...

If you're curious, this was my reply:


No one asked you to give up butchery. You were merely asked whether or not you respected lifestyles or beliefs different than your own. You obviously don't.

I notice that you find it important that I continue learning about old, dated and cruel techniques, yet don't seem to teach yourself, or teach your students, new techniques about a growing segment of the eating population. No alternative proteins class? No vegetarian class at all? Those learning lights are looking mighty dim.

Yes, my "same group" represents about 5% of the dining population -- about 15 million people who don't get quality food because self-righteous chefs continue to rely on naturally flavorful fats instead of learning creativity in seasoning. If you factor in people who aren't vegetarian but eat meatless meals regularly, you have a gross amount of people who are underserved by the ignorant and stubborn culture of the culinary arts.

Come up to Columbus and I'll take you to the nationally renowned Dragonfly restaurant. We can continue our conversation on respect for diversity. You might learn something.

And since we are exchanging self-righteous quotes from famous people I got some that are commonly used on vegan/vegetarian propoganda:

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."

Thomas Edison

"If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals"

Leo Tolstoy

Zucchini Breath said...

'Once a man turns off his learning lights ignorance prevails'

That is some good irony.