Northern Essex Community College to expand Culinary Arts Program

Tuesday December 14, 2021

Photos Courtesy of Northern Essex Community College. NECC Culinary Students Tim O’Brien and Ilanys Jorge, both of Haverhill.

Haverhill — After opening its Lupoli Family Institute of Culinary Arts in downtown Haverhill in the fall of 2020, Northern Essex Community College has announced that it will be expanding and offering two new credit programs, an associate degree in culinary arts and a certificate in baking and pastry.

While the two new programs won’t be official until the fall of 2022, students can enroll this spring and start taking courses that can be applied to the new associate degree and certificate.

A view of the Merrimack River from the NECC Lupoli Institute of Culinary Arts.

The college currently offers a certificate in culinary arts, which will transfer into the associate degree, and an associate degree in hospitality management.

“With these new programs, we can maximize the use of our beautiful facility, preparing more local residents for culinary and hospitality careers,” said Chef Denis Boucher, coordinator of culinary programs.

The NECC Lupoli Family Institute of Culinary Arts occupies two floors in The Heights, a newly built 10-story luxury building on Merrimack Street with sweeping views of the Merrimack River. The space includes classrooms, laboratories, and state-of the art kitchens, including a kitchen built especially for baking and pastry.

According to Boucher, Northern Essex adopted both new programs from North Shore Community College, which was phasing them out due to facility issues.

Northern Essex’s 29-credit certificate in culinary arts will help students land a good job, but the associate degree will get you a career, said Boucher. The certificate transfers seamlessly into the 60-credit associate degree, and both programs can be completed full or part time while working. The associate degree can be transferred into a bachelor’s degree program.

The baking and pastry certificate is designed for students who want to specialize in this area. It can be taken as a stand-alone certificate or combined with an associate degree in culinary arts.

Starting a culinary program in the midst of a pandemic presented challenges, according to Boucher, but the number of students enrolled in culinary programs at Northern Essex doubled from the fall of 2020 to the fall of 2021.

“We anticipate that interest will continue to grow,” he said.

The college’s culinary programs are overseen by an advisory board that includes a dozen leaders from the culinary industry, most of whom are employers, eager to hire Northern Essex graduates.

In addition to credit programs, noncredit courses for the community will be offered at the NECC Lupoli Institute of Culinary Arts. A new series will begin in January, featuring themed date nights as well as one-night classes in a variety of topics from Latin Street Fare to Seafood 101.

To learn more about credit culinary programs at Northern Essex, visit the website or contact Chef Denis, or call 978 241-4781.

To learn more about non credit options, visit the website or contact Suzette Turnbull, program manager, NECC Corporate and Community Education,

Support Local Businesses

Priced Right Junk Removal

Local Forecast

Subscribe To Receive Our Newspaper Every Wednesday Morning FREE

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and newspaper within your emails.

You have Successfully Subscribed!