A first-of-its-kind culinary course that is focused on teaching sustainable ways of cooking and eating opened for applications last week at the University of West London in Ealing.
Ben Christopherson, a UWL lecturer, food expert and former pastry chef, will run the new BSc (Hons) in Future Food and Culinary Management with the aim of creating a cohort of future chefs that understand how to cook more sustainably.
Christopherson said: “Our relationship with food is so damaging to the planet. Even small changes can have a huge impact so we want to look at how we will be eating and how food will evolve in the next few years, and how we can support these trends responsibly.”
From creating plant-based menus and learning how to source food responsibly, to following new eating trends that won’t harm the planet, the course aims to train students to develop a sustainable mind-set when it comes to cooking and eating, which will set them up for success in a rapidly changing part of the food sector.
As part of the BSc, students will also be able to take part in one of the first plant-based pastry courses to be on offer in the UK.
Christopherson added: “The whole industry is changing, meat consumption has reduced massively and the rise in plant-based eating is being supported by some of the biggest global manufacturers and restaurants.
“We want to teach students how to respond to these foods and to have an awareness of how different ingredients work. Knowing what is sustainable and how to make the right choices in the kitchen will give them a strong future whatever they chose to cook.”
Throughout the course, students will also have the chance to learn from a range of professionals who already engage with sustainable practices in the food and hospitality sector. These opportunities will arise through the form of masterclasses, workshops, talks and competitions.
Example compulsory modules on the three-year course include ‘Introduction to Future Food and Culinary Management’, ‘Sustainable Menu Design’ and ‘Pastry Technology and Future Trends (a plant-based approach)’.
The course also offers placements in the industry to develop students’ skillsets and prospects.