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NECI Timeline

  • 1980
    NECI Founded

    The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) was founded on June 15, 1980 by Fran Voigt and John Dranow. 

  • 1989
    Expanded to

    While we started in the humble kitchens of the Vermont Department of Employment and Training, we quickly grew to expand to a second “sister” campus in 1989. In an exciting partnership, we joined the brand new, full-service luxury resort at the Inn at Essex.

    Photo courtesy of Expedia

  • 1992
    Historic Flood!

    In 1992, warm weather caused ice jams on the Winooski River that flooded most of downtown Montpelier. NECI's original restaurants, Tubbs and the Elm Street Café, were damaged and then replaced by the Main Street Grill and the Chef's Table.

    Photo by Jackie Hulbert, courtesy of City of Montpelier.

  • 1994
    BA in FBM Program

    The Bachelor's Degree in Food and Beverage Management opened to students in 1994 to answer a demand for multifaceted food service professionals with skills in management, entrepreneurship, critical and creative thinking, and problem solving.

  • 1995
    New Certificate Programs Added

    In 1995, the Certificate Program in Basic Cooking debuted to meet the need for basic skills development and to provide trained cooks for the rapidly developing contract food service component of the industry.

  • 2002
    AOS in FBM

    In 2002 the Associate's Degree in Food and Beverage Management was developed. This program was created to help train students for the demands of front-of-the-house careers.

  • 2004
    AOS in Baking & Pastry Arts

    The Baking and Pastry program in 2004 expanded to include an Associate of Occupational Studies in Baking and Pastry Arts along with a Certificate in Baking and a Certificate in Pastry to meet employer needs in this highly specialized and sought-after area.

  • 2006
    Two new BA Degrees Added

    In 2006 two new bachelor’s degrees were added: an online BA Program in Hospitality and Restaurant Management (the name was later changed to Food and Beverage Business Management) and a residential BA in Culinary Arts. The addition of the online program allowed those with prior associate degrees or full-time careers to continue their education without having to relocate to Vermont.

  • 2009
    Campus Re-Consolidated

    The campus was re-consolidated in Montpelier in 2009, bringing all students, staff, and faculty back to our roots in one location.

  • 2012
    New Campus Executive Chef

    2012 was a big year for NECI: it launched an online BA in Culinary Arts and hired native French Chef, Jean-Louis Gerin, to serve as Campus Executive Chef. He is also a Mâitre Cuisinier de France, James Beard Chef Northeast 2006, and Chopped Champion 2012.

    Photo courtesy of

  • 2013
    BA and Certificate in Baking & Pastry Arts

    A Certificate in Baking and Pastry was launched in 2013 and a year later a Bachelor of Arts in Baking and Pastry Arts was created to acknowledge the growing complexity and diversity in employment opportunities for those specializing in baking or pastry. Students have the opportunity to attain their bachelor’s degree in any of the three programs whether online or on ground.

  • 2016
    Dr. Milan Milasinovic

    Dr. Milan Milasinovic is invited to create and execute NECI's turnaround strategies later becoming president of NECI. New vision and mission are created by focusing on converging arts and business.

  • 2017
    NECI & VMCAD Merge

    NECI merges with VMCAD College to leverage the synergies in general business education, online sharing and supporting processes. Online students are set on a path to share courses. New Programs are created and old curriculums revamped making both colleges stronger.

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Come Dine with Us

In our restaurants, students create classic and modern cuisine under the guidance of our award-winning Chef-Instructors, using the finest Vermont ingredients.

Our Restaurants