Public ClassesChefs' Training Program
Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health

Fran Costigan, the “queen of vegan desserts,” is an internationally recognized pastry chef, culinary instructor, and the author of More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts and Great Good Dairy Free Desserts. Her third book, Vegan Chocolate, will be released in fall 2013. She is a graduate of the NY Restaurant School and CTP, and a former pastry chef at several establishments including Angelica Kitchen. Fran has been a featured chef at such diverse venues as Dr. John McDougall’s Celebrity Chef Weekend, NAVS Summerfest, Toronto VegFest, Earthsave Taste of Health, to name a few. She has also been featured on the Discovery Health Channel and Nightline, and selected as “one of the most interesting players in the food and drink arena.” Fran’s website is


Pastry Arts & Desserts

Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive

If you’re on a mission to make world-class vegan desserts, sign on for some “basic training” in the field. Learn the tactics involved in baking without dairy, eggs, and refined sugar. The entire operation was developed by Fran Costigan, vegan pastry chef-instructor and author of Great Good Desserts Naturally and More Great Good Desserts Naturally, the books considered the “bibles” of vegan pastry arts. You’ll learn to use ingredients specific to vegan baking and gain the confidence to adapt many standard recipes to delicious vegan versions. Quality organic, seasonal ingredients will be emphasized, including whole grain flours, organic fair-traded sweeteners (both liquid and granulated), vegan gelatin (agar-agar), various starches, non-dairy milks, sulfite-free dried fruit, chocolate, cocoa, carob, pure extracts, leavening agents and much more. Novice and experienced bakers alike will benefit from the expert training offered in this unique intensive. Plating of desserts will be practiced daily and a dessert buffet party will be our finale.

Day 1: Introduction to and Fundamentals of Vegan Desserts (lecture and demonstration)

The series begins with an introduction to the various ingredients used to make vegan desserts. Selection of essential baking equipment will be discussed and an introduction to the classroom kitchen will be included. Fran will demonstrate, and you will taste: Agar-Based Fruit Gels • Freshly-Made and Commercial Non-Dairy Milks • Tofu & Nut Creams • Cornbread.

Thursday, February 14, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Day 2: Creamy and Gelled Desserts, Sauces, and Introduction to Measuring, Sifting and Mixing Batters (hands-on)

Today you will learn how to use the foundation ingredients such as dairy-milk alternatives, agar, various starches, tofu and nuts to make vegan-based gels and creamy desserts, sauces, creams, whips, and begin to measure, sift and mix batters. You will prepare: Blueberry Gel (Kanten) • Fruit Soup & Fruit Salad • Silken Nut Creams • Chia Pudding • Mango Mousse • Chocolate Coconut Mousse • Chocolate Pudding • Carob Pudding • Creamy Brown Rice Pudding • New Orleans Bread Pudding • Pumpkin Rice Pudding • Maple, Ginger, and Orange Tofu Creams • Chocolate Sauce • Chocolate Pudding Cake.

Friday, February 15, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Day 3: Cookies, Bars, Muffins, Biscuits, Scones, Shortcakes, Slumps & Crumbles (hands-on)

Measure, sift and mix dough and batters for a variety of cookies, bars, and muffins to tuck into your knapsack, plus comfort food such as biscuits, scones, shortcakes, and fruit desserts served warm from the oven. Vanilla Cut-Out Cookies • Peanut Butter Cookies • Chocolate Chip Cookies • Anise Almond Biscotti • Gluten-Free Lace Cookies • Jam Dot Cookies • Orange Ginger Crisps • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies • Apricot Nut and Oat Bars • Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies • Oat Sesame Squares (Gluten Free) • Honey-Free Better Baklava • Banana Walnut Bread • Pumpkin Muffins • Power Breakfast Muffins • Basic Biscuits • Currant Scones • Chocolate Chip Scones • Seasonal Fruit Shortcakes • Cranberry-Pear Slump • Seasonal Fruit Crumble (Gluten-Free Variations).

Saturday, February 16, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Day 4: Pies and Tarts (hands-on)

Each student will make a pastry dough pie crust and pressed cookie crusts will also be made, fillings prepared, and we’ll assemble and bake all day long. The lineup looks impressive. Foolproof Flaky Pie Dough and Pressed Cookie Crusts • Rustic Apple Tarts • Perfect Pumpkin Pie with Candied Nuts • Maple Sweet Potato Pie • Mile High Apple Streusel Pie • Cranberry-Pear Galette • Lemon Cream Tart • Black Bottom Coconut Banana Cream Pie • Gorgeous Glazed Grape Almond Cream Tart with GF Cornmeal-Pignoli Crust • Chocolate Silk Tart.

Sunday, February 17, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Day 5: Perfect Cakes and Fabulous Frostings, Fillings & Creams (hands-on)

Learn to make and decorate a collection of classics you’ll want in your arsenal for special occasions, lunchboxes and even for every day. The Layer Cakes: Versatile Vanilla Cake • Coconut Cloud Layer Cake • The Chocolate Layer Cake to Live For • Carob German Not Chocolate Cake • 24-Karrot Cake • Light Lemon Cake. The Big Cakes and Tortes: Orange-Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake • Cinnamon Streusel UnCoffee Cake • Almond Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil Torte • Spice Cake. The Frostings, Fillings and Creams: Ultimate Chocolate Frosting • Chocolate Ganache • Coconut Pecan Filling • It’s Like Lemon Curd • Berry Cream • West Indies Coconut Cream • Coconut Whipped Cream • Basic Glaze.

Monday, February 18, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Classes are limited to 14.
  • A certificate of completion will be issued to those students attending the full 5 days.  Sorry, we cannot make exceptions!
  • Fran's book is included in the fee.


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Instructor: Fran Costigan
  • Monday, August 18, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    Tuesday, August 19, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Wednesday, August 20, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Thursday, August 21, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Friday, August 22, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Space AvailableClass Code: 85_SS14

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