I watch these students grow and gain experience and confidence in their ability to turn their visions into reality. I tell them that baking is a mindset and a set of skills. The most important qualities for any good baker are curiosity and accuracy. You can’t be afraid to try new things. And you have to follow through with accuracy and precision. It can’t hurt if you really like desserts!"
We have a real opportunity at NECI to create generations of chefs who believe in the importance of using ingredients that are sustainably raised, harvested, and distributed. This means fostering respect for ingredients and teaching skills that minimize waste. At NECI, sustainable practices are woven into our curriculum. Being in Vermont puts us on the front lines of exciting changes in the way we think about food."
It’s the perfect school for me—small town, small classes. I love Montpelier and I really thrive in a close community. I need the encouragement that comes from having close relationships with your teachers. The small classes also make it easier for me to ask questions without feeling like an idiot!
I’ve worked in the food industry for thirteen years, but realized that a degree would give me better job security. I looked at Johnson and Wales, but felt that I would get a better education at NECI. At NECI, I can takes courses, for example, in Farm to Table and Sustainability that I would not receive at a larger school. I felt that that I would make better connections here. The people who work here knew my name before I even interviewed!"
NECI was the best decision I ever made, both because of the professional network it opened up for me and the skills I learned. Some of these were simple skills—others, like how to have a professional attitude and how to focus on ingredients and treat food respectfully are much larger. Some people go to culinary school to become star chefs—it takes different qualities to run a restaurant like A Single Pebble. You have to know how to create schedules that work and how to work with people. You have to have the spirit of a craftsman—to tell the story of the food you serve. It takes professionalism but also a certain passion and craziness.”
Food connects to everything in our lives. If you have a good culinary background, you will have tremendous opportunity in the food industry. I chose NECI because of the intense education, which I knew would prepare me for any path I chose.”
I wanted to be a chef. NECI gave me the training I needed, and opened a wide variety of possibilities—after NECI, you can go out and get any job in the industry you want. One of the great benefits of a NECI education was the hands-on approach to everything. You don’t just watch it, you do it! After all, it’s not easy to learn about meat fabrication in a lecture!”