DO I NEED TO HAVE ANY PRIOR CULINARY EXPERIENCE TO TAKE THE COURSE?
Prior cooking experience is not mandatory nor required to enroll with FFI. However, it should be noted that our culinary programs are labor-intensive and cover a wide range of techniques and skills throughout the course. All students should expect to dedicate a considerable amount of time and effort to get through Foundation: Phase 1, but coursework for beginners may entail additional time to complete each assignment as they develop their skill set. We generally recommend that students have a basic level of comfort in the kitchen prior to enrolling, but we encourage and support all prospective students committed to a high-level education in the plant-based culinary arts to train with FFI.
IS THE ENTIRE COURSE PLANT-BASED?
FFI is an entirely plant-based culinary institution. Foundation: Phase 1, as well as future courses, utilize explicitly plant-based ingredients. All ingredients included in each recipe and module do not contain animal products and are 100% plant-based.
I HAVE ALLERGIES AND SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS. HOW CAN I ALTER YOUR RECIPES TO MEET THEM? (INCLUDING GLUTEN-FREE)
Every recipe and cooking assignment throughout the course provides a detailed list of ingredients and allergen information. Many of our recipes are inherently gluten-free, but the FFI team has developed a comprehensive GF Guide to 100% of the course’s lessons and recipes to accomodate those who do not eat gluten. The GF version is included in your purchase of the course, so all students can access the GF-adjusted recipes in addition to those containing gluten.
Wherever possible, our chefs have provided recommended substitutions for other allergies, but these limitations should be considered before enrollment – especially in the event that a student has severe intolerance to any food, including tree nuts. Please contact our FFI support team with any further questions involving concerns about serious food intolerances and allergies.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
You can find the general equipment list in this document on page 12. We also provide a more in-depth overview of everything needed in all 117 lessons in a comprehensive document, which is available as a resource in the student modoule and accessible after enrollment. We also provide this information in the intro portion of each module, detailing what is needed for groceries and equipment for the following lessons.
AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR ACQUIRING ALL OF THE EQUIPMENT AND INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR EACH LESSON?
All students are expected to provide their own equipment, ingredients and work space. This course is designed as a work-from-home experience. Our instructors provide guidance for groceries and equipment needed for each lesson, and it is the responsibility of the student to obtain the necessary materials required throughout the course. Once you have purchased your equipment and graduated the course, you will not only have a strong knowledge base of their applications, but have the ability to utilize them in future projects.
ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATIVES FOR EQUIPMENT THAT I DON’T ALREADY OWN?
Some recipes and lessons can be completed with alternative equipment to those listed by FFI, though students should note that the process and/or outcome of their assignments may be affected. Though some lessons are flexible with equipment requirements, not all assignments can be completed in the absence of certain tools and appliances – but our instructors are ready to answer any specific questions and provide their advise at all times throughout the course, helping you find the best solution.
ONCE I PURCHASE THE COURSE, WHEN DOES THE FIRST LESSON BEGIN?
Students gain access to the first lesson immediately upon enrollment. However, it should be noted that some recipes and assignments require varying preparation times prior to start. For example, some ingredients will need to be soaked or dehydrated many hours in advance; this information is listed in the lesson syllabus.
CAN I CHOOSE THE ORDER OF WHICH LESSONS I TAKE?
Lessons are structured in a sequential format; students must complete each assignment in the order that they appear before moving on to the next module. The course format is structured so that students can learn and cultivate the techniques and skill sets needed to move through the lessons with preparedness and comprehension. Future lessons cannot be unlocked until the previous assignment is completed and students have uploaded their submissions.
WHAT IS THE LENGTH OF THE PROGRAM?
Students should expect to spend a minimum of roughly 200 hours of learning, which consists of practical cooking exercises, student assignments, and three comprehensive practical exams – two throughout the course, and one final project at its conclusion. Participation time will vary greatly depending on skill level and time organization. Time needed to shop for equipment, adequately prepare ingredients, and acquire fresh groceries on a regular basis should also be considered when acknowledging overall time commitment. We estimate that the entire course can be completed in 3 months if a student is studying full-time (i.e., completing roughly 1 module, or about 5 lessons, a week). However, you will have instructor support for an entire year, so time commitment is entirely up to the student.
HOW MANY HOURS A WEEK SHOULD I SPEND ON COURSEWORK?
Students are ultimately responsible for the pace at which they progress through the course, and lessons can be completed at a speed that feels most comfortable to the student. However, it takes regular work and discipline to develop a comprehensive understanding of the skills and culinary abilities taught by this course. FFI recommends that a consistent pace be maintained on a weekly basis for maximum educational benefit, and students should aim to complete 2-3 lessons a week if possible.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE ACCESS TO COURSE MATERIALS? WHAT IF I NEED MORE TIME?
After paying the one-time enrollment fee of 350 USD, students have access to course material indefinitely, starting from the day of payment. However, in order to receive a Certificate of Completion from FFI and Matthew Kenney, all courses must be completed within one year. Those who do not complete the course in that time frame will be able to continue veiwing their lessons and signing into the portal, but they will no longer have access to our support team, receive feedback or grading, or submit assignments. After one year, the course materials are available to you with a “view-only” status.
WILL I RECEIVE CERTIFICATION FOR COMPLETING THIS COURSE?
Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive a Certificate of Completion from FFI, signed and acknowledged by Matthew Kenney. Graduates may download their certificates and post to their websites, resumes, social media accounts or wherever else they see fit.
HOW WILL I BE GRADED?
Our team of instructors will provide feedback, whenever necessary, along the way – especially if students are having difficulty with a particular lesson or recipe – but the majority of grading is structured around your midterm and final assignments. These are project-based assignments at the midterm and course end, allowing students to apply the skills that they have learned to independent creative pursuits. In these assignments, students will be able to create multi-course tasting menus with their own original recipes, allowing our instructors to gage the individual progress of each student through real-life applications of their skill set. Throughout the course, the FFI team encourages you to reach out to our instructors at any point through the “live chat” function (or the support email) within the student portal. Our team is more than happy to provide any feedback, tips, or guidance regarding any recipe, process or submission. We will even video chat with our students if more hands-on assistance is necessary.
WHAT GRADE DO I NEED TO GRADUATE?
At FFI, participation, dedication and effort have a larger impact on our grading system than traditional notions of getting a lesson “wrong” or “right”. We acknowledge that we are teaching an art, and that by encouraging personal expression, creativity and improvisation, a proper grading criteria simply does not exist. All we ask is that each student applies themselves and strives to express their passion in every way that they can. This is a challenging course, and though grading is not “hard” in the traditional sense, the lessons require a considerable amount of time and commitment. We want to see how that effort pays off, and how learned skills can be translated into real-life artistic pursuits. As discussed in the previous FAQ explanation, the independent projects account for a considerable amount of student grading. There are two project-based assignments at the midterm and course end, which allow students to apply the skills that they have learned thus far to individual creative work. In these assignments, students will be able to create multi-course tasting menus with their own original recipes, and express their unique passions and real-life applications of the skills acquired thus far in their education. The grading on these two crucial projects are more hands-on from the instructor perspective, and our team will make sure that our students are making appropriate progress through feedback and guidance. All students who apply themselves and put in the necessary time to complete the course within one year will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from FFI.
DO I NEED ANY MATERIALS ASIDE FROM EQUIPMENT AND INGREDIENTS?
Aside from the necessary equipment, ingredients, and a working kitchen space, the only other requirement is online access to course lessons. We recommend that students use a laptop or tablet for the most seamless learning experience, but any device with internet access can be used to log in to the student portal and view lesson modules.
DOES THIS COURSE QUALIFY ME FOR A JOB IN THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY?
Like other online culinary programs, FFI cannot guarantee any form of employment upon course completion – the securing of a career position involves multiple outside factors involved in the employer’s hiring decision that are beyond the scope of our services. With that being said, Matthew Kenney Cuisine is a globally recognized lifestyle brand and a leader in several markets within the plant-based industry, and training with FFI will provide students with many advantages going forward.
WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY?
Please contact FFI’s support team in the event that a cancellation is requested. Our team appreciates feedback on level of course difficulty, equipment and ingredient demands, or any other obstacles preventing further pursuit of our programs. We will work with students on a case to case basis to resolve any issues that arise.