Culinary institute courting region
June 9, 2006

Culinary institute courting region

Vincentians as well as other residents of the region with the desire of pursuing a career in the Culinary Arts have an option to attend the New England Culinary Institute at H. Lavity Stout Community College in the British Virgin Islands (NECI-BVI), an affiliate of one of the finest cooking and restaurant management schools in the world.

The institution brings a high standard to the field, and at the same time is aiming to saturate the entire Caribbean market with its students, be it a five-star hotel, yacht, cruiseline or cookshop.{{more}}

NECI-BVI, a third campus of the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, was opened in partnership with H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on the beautiful Caribbean island of Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands five years ago. This campus offers a two-year programme, leading to an associate’s degree in Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts that is accredited all over the world. The New England Culinary Institute has been in operation for the past 25 years.

“With training we hope to help enhance that quality of life, quality of dining, quality of service, and then of course when people come to your different Caribbean islands they will definitely know well hey, I am going where there are trained chefs…basically that’s what we are about,” said Neil Cline of the NECI-BVI.

Finding trained chefs in the Caribbean, said Cline, is difficult as there is a scarcity in this area.

“People still believe it or tend to look down on this industry…it is a very hard barrier to break. We are facing parents, we are facing high school councilors who actually deter students from studying hospitality and culinary and tell them to go and do computers or business where the market is already saturated,” said Cline, as he explained that efforts are being made by NECI-BVI to infiltrate students at the elementary level.

There are three different categories of cost in attending the NECI-BVI. A student from the BVI will pay US$11,360 per year, a Caribbean student will pay US$16,360 per year and an international student will pay US$20,500 per year. This cost covers uniforms, boarding, transportation, books, knives, and government fees.