"Today is my first day with artisan breads, so I have done all new stuff today," said student Alexis Kelleher.
Here aspiring chefs are crafting an impressive variety of handmade edibles. "Three different kinds of bread, baguettes, hamburger buns -- a few different types of dinner rolls," said student Andrew Richardson.
NECI fist opened it's doors in 1980.
"I love the small class sizes. I love the professors. I haven't had I chef who I haven't loved," Richardson said.
It started with a handful of students and now trains roughly 500 a year. Tuition, room and board is $36,000 a year.
"I really like how I am in a hands-on environment and I get to use all of those senses that I'll be using in a real kitchen," Kelleher said.
New chefs practice different culinary skills in three week rotations. "We learn how to do them in higher volumes and we learn how to take it from the very first step, all the way to the case, to make it look beautiful so that it is something special," Kelleher said.
They make their mistakes in the school kitchen before heading out for mandatory internships at restaurants around the world. "As long as we learn from it, that's why we're here," said NECI Chef Instructor Mat Zimmerman. "There's no screaming and yelling -- we're here to learn and that's what I love about this."
Things on campus have not always been perfect. Two years ago the institute failed a financial responsibility test with the U.S. Department of Education. NECI's founder, Fran Voigt, said he's made management changes and expects the school to be back on track next summer. The progress comes at a time when Voigt's looking toward retirement. The big problem now is finding a new owner or non-profit to take over. "It's turning out to be more of a challenge than we anticipated. Money is always a challenge because we did not set this school up to make a lot of money, we set it up to aspire to excellence," Voigt said.
A goal these students share even if it means taking one for the team when it comes to an occasional kitchen casualty. "I've gained probably 20 pounds since I started here and I have two cavities," Richardson said.
"If a cookie is messed up, someone has to eat it, we can't put it out front," Kelleher added.
Culinary students are making hundreds of these cookies every week. You can try them for yourself at NECI's La Brioche Bakery and Café in Montpelier, where students serve about 350 guests everyday.
The institute also runs the NECI on Main restaurant in Montpelier and serves roughly 30,000 meals a month in the Montpelier's National Life Building.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:06 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:06:03 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:45 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:45:20 GMT
State police are looking for the person responsible for stealing a school bus and taking it for a joyride in northern Vermont. Troopers say the 2014-model bus belonging Newport City Elementary SchoolMore >>
Police say the school bus belonging to the Newport City Elementary School was taken for a joy ride Friday night.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:10 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:10:53 GMT
A fatal accident in Lyndon Saturday. It happened around 2:30 Saturday afternoon on Route 122. Police say 76-year-old Gerda Blaszczyk of St. Johnsbury swerved to avoid an animal. Her car travelled up anMore >>
Police say the driver swerved to avoid an animal.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:03:45 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is touring the state this weekend with a special guest. Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings in Burlington, Brattleboro and Montpelier. TheMore >>
Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:56:03 GMT
Saturday marked a new beginning for Castleton State College students. "Were all gathered here, getting fired up, having a good time," explained Castleton graduate, David Carrier. The 500 graduates hadMore >>
It's graduation day for the class of 20-13 at Castleton State College. And just for the occasion, the college invited back an alumnus with a strong connection to the school.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:51 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:51:14 GMT
Young bikers were learning the rules of the road in South Burlington Saturday. Kids who brought their bikes to the Dorset St. Park received free checks for their brakes, chains, and tires. Helmets alsoMore >>
and much more... making sure kids are safe before they hit the roads this summer.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:49:26 GMT
On a sun-soaked Saturday, Karen Trayah and her dogs enjoyed the sights, sounds, and of course smells of a festival for fidos. "It's called Woofstock, however, this is our 1st year doing it here at theMore >>
Making sure our furry friends have a place to call home.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:54:10 GMT
The door to room 118 at the Liberty Inn and Suites is gone-- busted by police during an early morning drug raid. They say tenant Julie Herron, 41, was selling heroin out her room. She was living thereMore >>
A South Burlington drug bust exposed new abuses of the state's homeless voucher program. A couple was arrested for selling heroin out of their motel room, and police say the state was footing the bill for their stay.More >>