Dr. Milan Milasinovic, president of New England Culinary Institute, updated The Bridge on the current state of the school. There are currently 25 students enrolled, who are on track to graduate in the spring of 2021. “According to our teach-out plan everyone should graduate by the end of April 2021,” Milasinovic wrote by email.
He further explained that students are either on externship (working in a restaurant), or online, so they are not on the Montpelier campus. However, the Montpelier offices “will remain open until the last student has graduated.”
No new students have been enrolled. There are about 5 to 10 instructors working with the students.
Neither La Brioche nor NECI on Main will reopen regardless of pandemic fluctuations. “After 40 years of being an epicenter of the culinary scene in Montpelier, Vermont, and nationally as well, it is sad for all of us involved,” Milasinovic said.
New England Culinary Institute has announced it will “teach out” remaining classes, then relocate to Ohio. The Institute, a gastronomical fixture in Montpelier since 1980, when it started with a small class taught by Chef Michel LaBourne, spawned many local restaurants that have come and gone, including La Brioche and NECI on Main. It also attracted students from all over the world who would memorably walk from their residence to class dressed in formal chef uniforms.
The school’s students have also started up restaurants in Montpelier, including Sarducci’s and the Blue Stone.
But, unless things change, that is to be no more. According to an announcement on neci.edu released recently by Milasinovic, “The Board of Directors and I have concluded that it is in the best interests of our students, alumni, prospective students, faculty, and staff to discontinue all credit-bearing programs. Therefore, effective immediately we will commence a teach-out of all credit-bearing programs.” Current students should graduate by spring 2021.
New England Culinary Institute was founded by the late Fran Voigt and his wife Ellen Voigt, and by John Dranow and his former wife, Louise Glück, recent winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.