If you’ve ever considered enrolling in culinary school, the International Culinary Center has got you covered. The school, established in 1984, deems itself the global leader in culinary and wine education and is responsible for producing some the world’s top chefs. Its offering of both single and multiple-day courses will let you get a taste of culinary school while improving your skills in the kitchen.

Last week, I had the pleasure of taking a two-day course focused on gluten-free and vegan baking taught by renowned Chef Diane Forley. In a total of ten hours, Chef Diane taught us nine recipes that cater to this growing trend in baking including classics like snickerdoodle cookies, gluten free bread, apple pie and lemon verbena financiers.

International Culinary Center

Photo by Sristi Pradhan

The class itself was made up of around fifteen students, ranging from passionate at home chefs like me, to professionals looking to offer gluten free and vegan choices in their bakeries. We came away from the experience learning that non-traditional ingredients doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. While I unfortunately can’t let you all sample the multiple boxes of goods I’d leave class with, I can share with you one fantastic recipe for blueberry-almond muffins (vegan and gluten free of course).

Blueberry-Almond Muffins

International Culinary Center

Photo by Sristi Pradhan


50g almond flour

70g sorghum flour

50g potato starch

1g baking soda

3g baking powder

1.5g xantham gum

150g brown sugar

6g enerG egg replacer

32g warm water

16g olive oil

150g blueberries

90g water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch, sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.

2. Mix the warm water with the egg replacer and whip until thickened, for about 3 minutes.

3. Add the olive oil, water and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

4. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

5. Gently fold in the blueberries and pour the batter into muffin tray.

6. Place the muffins into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

7. Enjoy!

Note: For those interested in a more advanced level of pastry, the ICC also offers a career program in professional pastry arts.