dcsimg

Explore a Specialized Culinary Career: Vegetarian Caterer

by Sonja Albrecht
CulinaryEd Columnist
May 19, 2011

What do actresses Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman, and Gwynneth Paltrow have in common with actors as diverse as Ted Danson, Richard Gere, and Brad Pitt? And what's the secret of the timeless good looks of model Carol Alt, Demi Moore, and ageless, energetic Paul Newman? All are vegetarians, says the International Vegetarian Union. And lest you think vegetarianism is a passing fad or a seventies flashback, know that the IVU will celebrate its centennial in 2008.

Vegetarian Catering, A Solid Career Niche
Clearly, vegetarians have deep culinary commitments, so if your catering career depends on developing a loyal following, you'd be hard pressed to find more dedicated diners than those who avoid eating animals or animal products. Fortunately, vegetarian dishes make your job in catering a breeze. In addition to the classic veggie lasagna, how about:

  • Cheese strata, a hot sandwich entre of bread, cheese, and tomato layers
  • Veggie wraps of hummus or smoked tofu with chopped walnuts and greens
  • Portobello mushroom "French dip"
  • Panini (pressed sandwiches) with tofu or mashed beans
  • Tapas, the South American bite-sized appetizers


Catering careers are based on personal flair; your culinary job is to fill in the details above with your unique take on vegetarian cuisine.

Big Guys, Little Lies?
In vegetarian cooking, trust is all. Your clients must put their faith in you and your commitment to vegetarian values. A few years back, computer consultant and Wendy's customer Pat Fish outed the chain for putting gelatin in its Veggie Pita sauce. Though Wendy's replaced the sauce with an animal-product-free version, consumer confidence was shaken. Taco Bell, too, learned a lesson in the discerning vegetarian palate (and, perhaps, in truth in advertising) when Bell's Veggie Fajita was found to contain chicken extracts and its meatless burrito sported sour cream and guacamole made with gelatin. As a vegetarian cook, you'll find your job garnering trust in your catering business will be easier now that the food industry giants squandered theirs.

Sources:
"Green cuisine," by Sam Hannam. In Britain 4.11 (November 1994).
International Vegetarian Union
"Psst. About that veggie pita...," by Anna Mulrine. U.S. News & World Report 123.1 (July 7, 1997).
"The Watchword Is Substance: Veggie Sandwiches," by Nancy Berkoff. FoodService Director 13.5 (May 15, 2000).



About the Author

Sonja Albrecht works as a writer and editor for an online media company. She has also taught college writing and completed a Ph.D. in English.
Culinary Art Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Professional Culinary Arts
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            Culinary Arts Professional
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Culinary Management (BS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Search Schools Near You
            Subject :
            Degree :
            Zip Code :

            Culinary Schools
            Culinary Articles
            10 Colleges with Delicious Dining Hall Food
            Forget boring college cafeteria dining. Campus food can be exciting, healthy and delicious. Here's a look at 10 of America's best colleges to get your grub on.
            Four International Cuisines Influencing the American Foodscape
            Ethnic cuisines are an integral part of America's culinary landscape, and none more so than these perennial favorites.
            5 Ethnic Cuisines for Serious Foodies
            Love food? Want to broaden your culinary horizons? These five international cuisines provide an excellent starting place.
            Healthy home cooked meals can improve health, longevity and family social community
            Read how cooking at home rather than eating out can help you live longer, reduce the risk of cancer and improve family dynamics. Not only has cooking at home become the hip choice, it's also become the smart choice.