History & Facilities

NECI History and Facilities

The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) was founded on June 15, 1980, by Fran Voigt and John Dranow. The first NECI class, conducted by Chef Michel LeBorgne, had just seven students. Since then, NECI has grown with over 5,000 accomplished alumni. A second campus was operated in Essex, Vermont from August 1989 through August 2009.

NECI's curriculum is based on "learning by doing," immersing students in real kitchen situations and maintaining a small teacher/chef to student ratio in comparison to other American culinary schools.

Since 1980, we have grown from one program offering to nine, and from one restaurant to many outlets that serve customers and provide learning opportunities for our students.

Our students have come from all 50 states and 15 foreign countries and ranged in age from 18 to over 70.

In 2012, NECI hired native French Chef, Jean-Louis Gerin, to serve as our Vice President of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef.

New England Culinary Institute’s campus is located in the Vermont state capital of Montpelier. A quintessential New England town of about eight thousand people, Montpelier has many charming shops, restaurants, and parks. NECI housing and educational facilities are spread throughout the town. NECI educational facilities include classrooms, library, computer access, and kitchen laboratories, as well as restaurants serving the public—including a farm-to-table themed restaurant, a casual restaurant for more informal dining,a bakeshop, two cafeterias, and banquet and catering facilities. Program administration offices, classrooms, a library, wireless computer access and learning labs are all located within walking distance of one another.
The executive offices, admissions, registrar, student financial services, student support services, including learning services, student services, career services, and academic advising, are centrally located at 7 School Street.

Student housing is available in the residence halls located at the Vermont College campus or within the Montpelier community. The student cafeteria is also located at Vermont College. Wireless Internet services are provided in all student housing and classroom buildings. Health club memberships are provided for all students at a local fitness center. Many students find it convenient to bring their cars to Montpelier. It can, however, be difficult to locate adequate parking, especially during the winter. Limited parking is available for resident students only at some
residence halls. Parking is generally not provided at classroom or kitchen buildings; students are expected to abide by the Montpelier community parking regulations.

NECI Restaurants and Food Services

Chef’s Table
118 Main Street
Montpelier, Vermont

Chef’s Table offers regional ingredients, innovative cuisine, and gracious service for special events and banquets. The restaurant kitchen is equipped with range/ovens, salamander, gas grill, deep fryer, refrigerated prep tables, stainless worktables, refrigerated pastry case, sinks, dish and pot washing area, and other equipment needed for serving between 30 and 100 meals at dinner.

NECI on Main
118 Main Street
Montpelier, Vermont

NECI on Main features local and regional cuisine with a farm-to-table theme and a contemporary dining experience. Additionally, the restaurant lounge menu offers a small-plate concept focused on foods of the Mediterranean. The restaurant kitchen is equipped with range/ovens, a griddle, salamander, standard gas grill and charcoal grill, standard deep fryer and an induction deep fryer, convection oven, combi-steamer, stockpot range, refrigerated prep tables, sinks, stainless worktables, refrigerated pastry case, refrigerated lettuce dispensers, walk-in refrigeration, dish and pot washing area, and other equipment needed for serving between 50 and 300 meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

La Brioche Bakery & Café
89 Main Street
Montpelier, Vermont

La Brioche is a European-style café specializing in baked goods, pastries, and artisan breads. The bakeshop has a classroom, and three kitchen areas equipped with mixers of various sizes, worktables, convection and deck ovens, walk-in and reach-in refrigerators, a two-door proofer, walk-in freezers, sinks, a sheeter, dough divider, and other equipment needed for the production of baked goods described in the curriculum.

Vermont College of Fine Arts - Dewey Dining Hall
1 West Street
Montpelier, Vermont

Classic college dining hall service offered to Vermont College students, NECI students, and the public. This large kitchen is designed to handle two production classes and is equipped with ranges, a clamshell broiler, deep fryers, a salamander, griddle, a double-stacked steamer, food warmer, bain marie wells, work counters, steam kettle, tilt skillet, reach-in refrigerators,