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CALLING ALL FOODIES FOR A $10,000 NECI SCHOLARSHIP Annual Recipe Contest Turns Up the Heat and Stiffens the Competition

(Montpelier, Vt.…September 6, 2006) New England Culinary Institute (NECI) has upped the ante with this year’s Taste of New England Scholarship Recipe Contest, expanding enrollment options to allow a greater number of prospective students to participate, and thereby encouraging a fiercer competition. Future chefs are invited to create an original entrée or dessert recipe featuring ingredients native to New England for a chance at first prize: a $10,000 NECI scholarship. The runner-up will receive a $7,500 scholarship, and a $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to the third-place winner. For the first time, this year’s contest is open to prospective students for all of NECI’s terms: December 2006, and March, June and September 2007.

Last fall, Colchester, Conn., resident, John Fairburn, sat at his kitchen table trying to figure out exactly how to capture the essence of New England cuisine. He had his eye on first place, which he later won with his summer-inspired Pan seared Nantucket bay scallops with corn flan and micro arugula drizzled with sherry vinaigrette. “This year’s contest will definitely be more competitive with a larger pool of recipes to chose from,” says Fairburn. “I encourage anyone even remotely interested in culinary school to take a stab at this. Trust me, once you see what a NECI education has to offer, you’ll be glad you did.”

Fairburn offers contestants a glimpse of insider knowledge with the following suggestions:

- Cook with what you know, but be creative; originality is key.
- Familiarize yourself with the ingredients you choose. This will give you the confidence and assurance of knowing what flavors compliment each other best.
- Test the recipe a few times; sometimes they look better on paper than they do on the plate.
- Research native ingredients and specialties if you’re not familiar with New England. Seafood is a can’t-miss ingredient in showcasing what this region has to offer.

NECI urges foodies of all ages to put their creativity to the test, reminding contestants that experience is not what counts but, rather, an ability to uniquely interpret the region’s rich flavors.

“My years at NECI tell me that the winning dish will be simple and balanced and will highlight contrasting flavors like sweet and sour, savory and bitter,” says NECI’s founding chef and Maître Cuisinier de France, Michel LeBorgne. “Be respectful of the ingredients. In the end, chicken should taste like chicken, and garnishes should complement flavor, not disguise it.”

NECI chef instructors will join LeBorgne to judge the recipes, evaluating entries on the balance of ingredients, originality of the dish, use of ingredients native to New England, taste and flavor, presentation (a photograph of the dish is optional) and ease of preparation. Contestants must submit a complete recipe and contest entry form by November 17, 2006. Students may apply scholarship money to any term from December 2006 through September 2007. Full contest rules follow.

Entry requirements for NECI’s Taste of New England Scholarship Recipe Contest: Recipe must list all ingredients in exact common U.S. household measurements in order of use and include step-by-step preparation instructions, cooking times and all utensils. Recipe should serve four to six people. To be considered for the scholarship, contestants must plan to enter as first year students and complete all admissions application requirements for NECI's Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts Program or Associate’s Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts Program. Entrants may apply for any term December 2006 through September 2007. Recipients may not transfer to another start date. Only complete entries that meet all requirements postmarked by November 17, 2006, will be considered. Scholarship amounts will be awarded over a two-year period, with half credited to the student’s account at the beginning of the first and second year. This scholarship may not be combined with any other scholarship, with the exception of the Next Generation Scholarship. For more information or to request an application, call 877-223-6324 or visit

About New England Culinary Institute
New England Culinary Institute (NECI) was founded in 1980 with a unique educational model featuring “learn-it-by-living-it” training in real-life situations. The school, which has grown to three campuses—two in Vermont and one in Tortola, B.V.I.—produces highly qualified chefs, managers, culinary professionals and industry leaders. Recognized for its innovative immersion style, NECI is known for its low student-to-teacher ratio and for providing personal and focused hands-on education. NECI offers a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and restaurant management; associate’s degrees in culinary arts, hospitality and restaurant management, and baking and pastry arts; certificates in basic cooking, baking, and pastry arts, as well as a host of non-professional cooking programs. Also known for its fine dining and catering, the school operates diverse foodservice outlets that serve the public daily. Visit for more information.

Rising Star Advanced Placement Scholarships
Six Rising Star Advanced Placement Scholarships will be awarded to candidates who have a minimum of three years’ experience in the culinary field. Advanced Placement Scholarship recipients will be awarded $8,000 toward tuition at NECI and will be enrolled directly in the second-year program of studies. The NECI Academic Catalog outlines details of this program, including testing requirements and information on the Advanced Placement Preparation Program.

About the New England Culinary Institute
The New England Culinary Institute was founded in 1980. The Institute, which has grown to three campuses - two in Vermont and one at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in Tortola, British Virgin Islands - produces highly qualified chefs, managers, culinary professionals, and industry leaders. Recognized internationally for its hands-on, immersion style of learning, the Institute’s low student-to-teacher ratio allows for a personal and focused educational experience. NECI degree programs include an A.O.S. Degree in Culinary Arts, an A.O.S. Degree in Food and Beverage Management, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Food and Beverage Management.

For more information on NECI please go to

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James Beard Scholarships

Click here for information about the 2007 scholarship application.

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