NECI: Differences between campuses

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by markhopkins, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. markhopkins

    markhopkins

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    I just visited NECI, and I liked what I saw, but am not sure which campus to apply to. Montpelier is nice, but there didn't seem much to do there outside of class. Burlington/Essex seemed really happening and the chefs at the NECI Commons restaurant said that you'd be cooking more when on the line (compared to the Montpelier restaurants) since more people eat there. Any NECI alums or current students have any opinions on the two campuses?
     
  2. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I attended NECI in the early to mid 90's, at the Montpelier campus. Things have changed quite a bit since I've been there. New restaurants, new facilities, etc., but even with the old facilities I prefered the Monpelier campus (never worked at the other, but was there a few times and saw the facilities). I just liked the set up better for some reason. As for things to do, yes, Burlington has a lot to offer, but we were never at a loss for things to do in Montpelier. Sure, a lot of things are a drive, but we had a blast exploring Vermont, finding all the cool swimming holes, going to all the fests, etc. Believe me, there is plenty to do and see in and around Montpelier, you just have to work a little harder to create your own fun, whereas in Burlington it's more laid out in front of you.
     
  3. magpie

    magpie

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    I have been looking at NECI as well, and I know the Montpelier one is the only campus that offers the baking and pastry program..if your into that :)
     
  4. marsha

    marsha

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    Both are great places, Montpelier has that small town feel and Burlington is more of a city, a city by Vermont standards. The big difference is between the programs, Burlington is more of a hotel environment while Montpelier is a stand alone restaurant feel. I did my Buffet/Banquet rotation at Essex and while it is a great place it made me know that my place was not in hotels. I have to say my years in Vermont really got into my heart and I hope to be back one day.
     
  5. markhopkins

    markhopkins

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    Marsha,
    How long ago did you graduate from NECI? How was the quality of instruction by the chefs?
     
  6. devotay

    devotay

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    I am a graduate and former Chef-Instructor at NECI. While I have my obvious bias toward my alma mater, I still believe I can state objectively that it offers the finest hands-on instruction available today. All the major schools have vary well trained, very well respected faculties, but hat doesn't help unless you get the kind of personal attention that NECI's small class size can offer. That 7:1 student:teacher ratio isn't justa a statistic - they do not permit classes larger than 7 students. None of the other school can approach it.

    It is also more demanding program, requiring 113 credit hours of the Associates degree, compared to the 70-80 required at most schools.

    All this and real, hands-on, sink-or-swim cooking in real open to the public restaurants right from day 1.

    I attended the Essex campus, and like Pete, it was a long time ago and many things have changed for the better. Still, don;t worry to much about things to do and see. If you are applying yourself the way you should, you won't have time to do or see much. ;)

    Go where it feels right, and change the second year, if you want.