A new vegan cooking school is set to open in Las Vegas.
According to its founders, Mindy Poortinga and Heather Heath, Vegas Vegan Culinary School and Eatery is the first, non-accredited vegan cooking school and deli in the US.
The non-accredited school has a target launch of April 1. It will include more than 40 classes each month, both in-person and online. Limited in-person classes will also be available for teens and children.
The vegan cooking school will include a wide range of global cuisines and traditions. Sample courses include “Cooking with Trader Joe’s,” “Cooking with ‘Shrooms,” and “Making Tofu That Rocks.” They will feature beginner and advanced courses for all skill levels.
A number of vegan sous chefs will take part. “We will have many of our local vegan chefs available to teach courses,” Heath tells LIVEKINDLY in an email. “I have had out-of-state chefs already reach out interested in teaching a class and cross-promoting their cookbooks, as well as a handful of UK-based chefs,” she continues.
Once coronavirus pandemic restrictions are lifted, the school also plans to allow international chefs to teach their courses via Zoom to those attending the class in-person.
For those looking for a tasty, vegan pick-me-up in between classes, the Eatery will boast a deli and espresso bar. The campus will also feature a bi-weekly meal prep delivery service.
Vegan Cooking School In the Making
Mindy and Heather are both vegans and advocates of sustainable living. So they wanted to launch a program that would teach others about the benefits of eating plant-based.
“I had a small, carnivorous meal prep company and switched it to vegan, after going vegan,” Poortingatells LIVEKINDLY.
A self-taught chef, Poortinga’scompany—Vegan Meals by Mindy—delivered plant-based meals straight to peoples’ doorsteps. But after a successful six-year run, she says she was ready for a change. “I was ready for my next adventure when Heather approached me about starting a vegan culinary school and deli,” she explains.
Heath, a seasoned chief financial officer in the healthcare industry, was also ready for a new business venture and thought the duo would make an ideal partnership. “I have an extensive business background and Mindy the culinary background,” Heath explains. “It’s the perfect recipe for success!”
The dynamic duo has big plans for the vegan cooking school. Once tourism and travel resume, Heath hopes to facilitate partnerships with international travel agencies in major Asian and European cities. “My large scale vision is for groups coming to Vegas (interested in veganism or cooking) to be offered week-long courses uniquely designed for them so they can learn to cook by day and enjoy Vegas by night,” she explains.
“Our school & eatery is going to be so much more than a culinary school and eatery,” Poortinga adds. “It’s going to be a vegan hub. A place to learn how to cook tasty vegan food, eat vegan food and meet up with great people.”