MONTPELIER -- Culinary program students from around Vermont will gather to compete Nov. 18 in New England Culinary Institute's (NECI) Fourth Annual Vermont Culinary Classic Competition.

Student contestants will be given 90 minutes to create a menu consisting of White Bean Vegetable and Fresh Herbs Soup, Seared Chicken Statler Breast, Rice Pilaf, Green Beans, Cranberry Beurre Blanc, and Seasonal Crêpes. The students will be rated by NECI chefs on the general skill areas of safety, sanitation, production efficiency, use of equipment, person hygiene and grooming. They will also be rated on degree of difficulty and creativity, cooking technique, proper doneness, texture, flavor and salability.

The Vermont schools participating in this year's competition are: Center for Technology, Essex; Green Mountain Technology and Career Center, Hyde Park; Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center, Middlebury; North Country Career Center, Newport; Randolph Technical Career Center, Randolph; Stafford Technical Center, Rutland; River Valley Technical Center, Springfield; Applied Technology Center at St. Johnsbury Academy, St. Johnsbury; Hartford Area Career and Technical Center, White River Junction and Southwest Vermont Career Development Center, Bennington.

New England Culinary Institute (www.neci.edu), founded in 1980, is widely recognized for its innovative immersion style of education featuring small classes, hands-on learning, and personal attention. Its graduates are often sought after the world over for their level of skill and preparation.

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