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 the 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

This course is available in Fort Bragg, California, and is the first prerequisite in four culinary certification programs.

Prerequisite: None.

Certifications: This course is a prerequisite for Essentials of Raw Living Foods™ and Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training™ courses. 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™.

Tuition: $375

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

Meals: A full buffet lunch of organic raw vegan foods will be provided as well as samples of most of the foods prepared during class.

Additional Information: This class is observation only—not a hands-on course. Tuition includes all course materials except the required text. Books may be purchased at the Living Light Marketplace upon your arrival in Fort Bragg, California, or you may purchase them online ahead of your course date.

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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, pepper jacks, 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. We provide premium Mac Santoku style knives to use during the course.

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

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™.

Tuition: $325

Recommended Text: Knife Skills Illustrated by Peter Hertzmann (not included in tuition cost).

Meals: A healthy lunch of organic raw vegan foods will be provided.

Additional Requirements: Closed-toed shoes are required. Paring knife is required to fully participate in class.

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Vegan and Raw Nutrition Level 1™

This course provides a broad and comprehensive understanding of plant-based nutrition that is fundamental to creating an optimal raw food diet. The material is suitable for raw foods enthusiasts who are fine tuning their diets as well as for those who are simply increasing their intake of raw plant foods. It is an excellent course for chefs, health professionals, and those who want a science-based foundation in nutrition. We will answer questions such as:


  • Can we survive and thrive, nutritionally, on a raw and vegan diet?
  • What are the various types of raw food diets? Are some better than others?
  • How will we get enough protein?
  • Does a plant based diet provide every one of the essential amino acids?
  • How can we meet our recommended intake for iron and avoid anemia?
  • Can raw food diets supply sufficient calcium and vitamin D for optimal bone health?
  • Does a plant-based diet supply sufficient iodine, zinc, and other trace minerals?
  • Do we need vitamin B12 supplements?
  • Are carbohydrates good or bad?
  • How can we best maintain our blood sugar and energy levels between meals?
  • Are some fats essential for good health, and some to be avoided?
  • What protective components are present in raw plant foods, beyond all the vitamins, minerals, and protein?
  • What are some of the benefits of raw food diets, and what are the nutritional challenges?
  • How can all the information about 13 vitamins, 16 minerals, protein, fats, and carbohydrate be assembled into a single food guide for optimal health?

This course will provide answers to these and other common questions about raw food, vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based diets. The presentation for each topic is fun and easy to understand, and allows time for questions and discussion after each section. You will leave this course empowered—with a firm foundation of nutritional science that will help you to successfully incorporate raw and living foods into your daily diet. In addition to the information-packed classes, there will be a final question and answer session at the conclusion of the program.

Class Length: 12 hours (2 days)

Prerequisites: There is no prerequisite for this two-day course. This course is a prerequisite for Vegan and Raw Nutrition Level 2™ and Vegan and Raw Nutrition Level 3: Educator Training™.

Certifications: This course is required for these certifications - Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training Certification™, Pastry Arts-Unbaked Certification, Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification™ and Advanced Vegan and Raw Food Nutrition Health Educator Certification™.

Tuition: $375

Required Textbook: Becoming Vegan (Comprehensive Edition) is the textbook for this course and is fully referenced and written in a way that is reader friendly and appealing for nutrition enthusiasts and for health professionals.

Meals: Meal plans are available for purchase.

Additional Information: There is no wifi service available in this classroom. Students are welcome to use the free wifi available in the building lobby during breaks and lunch.

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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.