The Conscious Gourmet Institute
Career Training Programs

Letter from Diane Carlson, Founder, Director, Chef Instructor

Nearly 30 ago I taught my first three hour culinary class as a graduation requirement for the Teacher’s Training Program in natural foods cooking at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health in New York City. It was the most challenging class I ever taught, knowing it would be followed by an extensive critique by my fellow classmates, as well as the late Annemarie Colbin, Founder of the Institute. My heart was pounding as I stood before the class, but when my class was over, I knew I had found my passion for life. Over the years I have taught hundreds of classes in every kind of venue, and what I have learned best is how to teach… what makes a class fulfilling and successful for both the student and the instructor, whether it’s taught in one’s home, a culinary school, a practitioners’ office, a retreat center or for the television or video audience.

A successful class does not happen by chance. We all know what it feels like to attend a cooking class and really feel fed… unaware of the carefully orchestrated details that contributed to the success of the class. We are inspired to return to our own home kitchen to consciously implement what we have learned.

There are fundamental components underlying the successful preparation and delivery of a class, combined with one of the most important ingredients in any class, the instructor—how and what he or she chooses to bring to the classroom of her unique self. Her passion, skills, knowledge, presence and presentation are consumed by the students like the beautifully presented food on the plate. A well trained instructor and orchestrated class feeds the soul of the student as well as her own.

Many chef schools and practitioner programs are teaching health, diet, and nutrition. If this is your career path, I invite you to take your knowledge and skills to the next level by mastering the skills for creating, organizing , navigating and teaching inspiring, professionally presented culinary classes.

Choose the program that meets your particular goals: The Culinary Classroom Teacher Training Program or the Teacher Training Program in Vegetarian/Vegan Cooking and Theory.


A step-by-step guide for creating, organizing, navigating and presenting successful culinary classes.  It is designed for the individual who has a passion for the culinary arts and a desire to teach cooking classes utilizing a dietary system of their choice. Read More



This Certification Program focuses on the knowledge and skills to teach both vegetarian/vegan cooking and theory classes and includes the entire Culinary Classroom Teacher Training Program curriculum PLUS hands-on cooking classes; teaching practice and homework assignments.   Read More