Introductory Culinary Curriculum

We have four introductory courses that have no prerequisite and are open to the public. These courses are informative for the novice chef, entrepreneur or person interested in healthy vegan and raw nutrition. These courses also set the foundation for the Living Light way of preparing gourmet raw vegan cuisine for those who are pursuing a career in the raw food movement. We make healthy living delicious!

Two other introductory courses with prerequisites teach Living Light Culinary Institute students the skills to prepare raw vegan meals for themselves and their families, and are the basis for launching a first or second career in a burgeoning new lifestyle. These two courses are the final two courses that anchor our flagship certification, Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Certification™. This introductory raw vegan cuisine certification is the prerequisite for many advanced courses and three other culinary certifications.

Click here for the course schedule.

FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™

In this entry-level demonstration-only class, discover the magic of creating fabulous organic raw vegan cuisine for optimum health and rejuvenation! Dozens of superb culinary presentations will show you everything you need to know to create a wide variety of delicious, easy-to-prepare raw recipes. Sample freshly made raw taste sensations including appetizers, fruit smoothies, soups, sauces, salads and salad dressings, simple entrees, pates, wraps and rolls, nut milks, nondairy cheeses, crunchy crackers, dehydrated goodies, and amazing desserts. Learn sprouting techniques and how to use the equipment and supplies for a raw kitchen. Even a professional chef will encounter a whole new world of food-preparation skills that are specific to raw cuisine. FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™ is the first step toward a new culinary awakening

What You Will Learn

  • Soaking, sprouting and basic kitchen gardening
  • Making veggie krauts and other fermented foods
  • Making nut milks, creams, and luscious raw non-dairy cheeses
  • Introduction to the basic equipment and supplies used in a raw food kitchen food processors, juicers, dehydrators and the use of other important culinary equipment
  • Introduction to basic knife skills
  • Basic fruit smoothies and soups, sauces, salad dressings, salads, simple entrees, wraps and rolls, pâtés and easy desserts

Prerequisite: None.

Tuition: $325

Recommended Text: Angel Foods by Cherie Soria (not included in tuition cost).

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Sharpen Up Your Knife Skills™

Good knife skills are the foundation of culinary art. Textures created by skilled cuts influence not only the appearance of food but also the flavor and mouth feel. This one-day course takes a progressive approach to the development of knife skills through a combination of demonstration and hands-on practice. This class is open to the public with no prerequisites required.

What You Will Learn

  • Evaluating knives: which knives for which task
  • Anatomy of a knife
  • Knife safety
  • Ergonomics: proper body positioning
  • Proper way to grip a knife
  • Using the rocking motion when slicing
  • Perfectly portioned cuts: Batonnet, Julienne, Dice, Paysane, Rondelle, Chiffonade
  • Slice, julienne, dice onions
  • Cut, seed, and julienne bell peppers
  • Fillet and veneer: fillet bell pepper to remove skin, make tomato roses, shave thin sheets of cucumber
  • How to use a mandoline
  • Garnishes: green onion flowers and ferns, radish mushroom, citrus sectioning
  • how to open a young thai coconut and remove the flesh
  • Knife care—keeping your knives sharp and storing them properly

Even if you don’t aspire to be a professional chef, this is a class that will help you gain much more confidence in your knife skills and become more efficient in meal preparation.

Prerequisite: None. This course is a prerequisite for Essentials of Raw Living Foods™and Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training™ courses.

Tuition: $275

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Science of Raw Food Nutrition™ I

Living Light has teamed up with nutrition curriculum developers Drs. Rick and Karin Dina, D.C. to offer a comprehensive course on the science of raw food nutrition. Rick and Karin Dina are known for their ability to make complex scientific concepts understandable for the non-scientific person. They also provide greater clarity, depth, and perspective for those with a science or nutrition background. This is a great course for chefs, health educators, clinicians, and those who want a knowledge base to achieve optimal health with a greater understanding of scientifically-based raw food nutrition.

This course will provide answers to common questions about raw food, vegan, vegetarian and plant-based diets and is presented in a fun and easy to understand format. You will leave this course empowered with knowledge and understanding to successfully incorporate raw and living foods into your daily diet. In addition to the information packed classes, this course includes time for answering questions after each class, as well as a final question and answer session at the conclusion of the program. All participants will receive a comprehensive notebook including lecture notes, charts, graphs and other essential information on raw food nutrition. There is no prerequisite for this class. This two-day course is a prerequisite for the Science of Raw Food Nutrition II and is a required course for six culinary and nutrition educator certifications, including the Benefits of Raw Food Nutrition Health Educator Certification™ and the Advanced Raw Food Nutrition Health Educator Certification™.

What You Will Learn

  • Successful weight management
  • Blood sugar regulation from a dietary perspective
  • Acid/alkaline balance
  • Food changes from cooking
  • Anti-inflammatory nutrition
  • Anti-aging and longevity
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Protein
  • Vitamin B12
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Antioxidants and phytonutrients
  • Cleansing for health and vitality

Most importantly, we discuss how to integrate all of this information into a successful diet and healthy lifestyle program! This course is available in Fort Bragg, California.

Prerequisite: None.

Certifications: This course is one of the required courses for six culinary and nutrition educator certification programs: Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training Certification™, Pastry Arts-Unbaked Certification, Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification™, Raw Culinary Arts Professional Chef Certification™, Benefits of Raw Food Nutrition Health Educator Certification™, and Advanced Raw Food Nutrition Health Educator Certification™.

Tuition: $375

Required Text: No required text. All class materials included.

Additional Information: This is a lecture course with no additional required items. You may bring a laptop for note-taking. There is no meal service on this class day.

You may receive a discount for this class if you register for our training package which includes this course.

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Food Styling


Discover the basics of food styling using color, texture, and contrast in this one-day hands-on workshop. You will learn dozens of tips and tricks that will enable you to plate dazzling dishes and capture the beauty of your culinary creations in photographs. Delight your family, friends, and guests with tasty and nutritious food that looks both beautiful and enticing.

All the techniques you explore in this class will help you showcase your culinary talents on a website, blog post, eBook, or brochure. You’ll learn saucing, positive use of negative space, and how to build height and add the illusion of movement to a plated dish. Learn valuable elements of design, including how to choose appropriate tableware and props for photos. This is a valuable and important class for anyone who understands that we first feast with our eyes before food ever passes our lips.

Prerequisites: None.

Tuition: $375.00

Recommended Equipment: Chef knife, paring knife, appropriate chef wear, and camera.

Additional Information: This class is a hands-on course.

Essentials of Raw Culinary Arts™

Essentials offers the unique opportunity to work hands-on with some of the world’s most outstanding raw food chefs and teachers. The course provides you with ample personal attention and assistance with individual goals. Become confident with knife skills and familiar with kitchen equipment and time-saving gadgets of all kinds. This five-day hands-on course expands on FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™ and Sharpen Up Your Knife Skills™ and provides the foundation necessary to attend our Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training™. Learn how to develop recipes; combine herbs and spices to create both classic and ethnic flavors without using recipes; balance textures and flavors within individual recipes or across entire menus; sprout grains, seeds, and legumes; make luscious meals; combine foods for optimum digestion and nutrition; create raw versions of cooked food recipes; organize and manage a raw food kitchen, and much more!

What You Will Learn

  • Essential techniques for healthy meal preparation
  • Setting-up and managing your raw food kitchen
  • Using basic equipment common in a raw food kitchen (food processors, blenders, spiralizer, spirooli, juicers and dehydrators, including proper temperature settings for different applications)
  • Basic knife technique—which knives are used for which tasks (i.e. chopping, dicing, mincing, julienning, chiffonade)
  • Basic measures and equivalents (i.e. teaspoons to tablespoons, ounces to cups, quarts to gallons, etc.)
  • How to follow recipes and convert cooked recipes to raw recipes
  • Hands-on experience in making fresh garden soups, sauces, salad dressings, salads, simple entrees, wraps and rolls, pâtés, crackers and desserts
  • Understanding flavor dynamics
  • Effective menu planning
  • Organic vegan product spotlight

Prerequisites: FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods and Sharpen Up Your Knife Skills!are prerequisites to this introductory, hands-on chef-training course and may be attended either separately or consecutively in one session.

Certifications: This course is one of the required courses for Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training Certification™, Pastry Arts-Unbaked Certification, Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification™, and Raw Culinary Arts Professional Chef Certification™.

Tuition: $1,575

Required Text: Angel Foods and The Raw Food Revolution Diet: Feast, Lose Weight, Gain Energy, Feel Younger! both by Cherie Soria (books not included in tuition cost). These items may be purchased at the Living Light Marketplace upon your arrival or you can shop online ahead of your course start date.

Additional Information: Tuition includes course materials other than the required texts and supplies. During this hands-on course, you will need a chef coat, chef hat, and a set of knives (a chef knife and paring knife at the minimum). We recommend additional chef coats, an apron, and a safety glove.

You may receive a discount for this class if you register for our training package which includes this course.

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Would you like more information about becoming a Living Light Student? Contact an enrollment advisor today: call (800) 816-2319 or (707) 964-2420, Skype, or Email...they would love to help you! You can also click here to schedule a personalized phone or Skype consultation at your convenience.