Archives for posts with tag: education

Traditional rehearsal dinners have evolved from sit down restaurant affairs to so much more!  We are finding brides and grooms are becoming more creative with their offerings and at Vermont’s culinary resort why not take advantage of all we have to offer.

One popular choice is action stations with the students of the New England Culinary Institute preparing the food right in front of the guests.   Hand rolled Sushi stations or pasta stations with freshly made pastas and gnocchi’s, risotto stations with a variety of fresh ingredients are all popular choices.  For something more “informative” one of our Instructors would be happy to do a cooking demo, wine class or beer tasting!   Enjoying delicious, freshly prepared and local product is a fun and interesting start to a wonderful wedding weekend.

No matter the season, we can work with you to create a personalized theme that can accommodate groups of any size.  An outdoor barbecue amid our beautiful gardens, a bonfire and New England Clambake or a pool side picnic are great ways to include a larger group of wedding guests.

For the more active and adventurous couples,  we can customize a menu and set up a wonderful event at our golf course or ropes, rock and ice course.

There are so many fun,  fabulous and exhilarating events to experience at the Essex Resort and Spa!


By Mimi Overman

Did you know that the average American wedding produces 800 pounds of garbage?

That’s right 800 pounds! As of lately, the sales team at the Inn has decided to draw their attention to the evolving trend of green weddings. As a team we would like to offer our wedding clientele responsible choices that make a statement. Not only can you make your wedding day a beautiful and romantic ceremony, but you can also take the chance to make the wedding reflect yourself and your concerns for the environment.

New England Culinary Institute is a founding member of the Vermont Fresh Network, as well as the Inn at Essex being a member of the Green Hotel Association, and prides itself on taking care of the environment and bettering the long-term value of our property and staff.  Here at the Inn at Essex we focus on social responsibility. Not only do we recycle and compost all excess food, we make a point of using energy efficient light bulbs in all our facilities. We also offer our guests the opportunity to share our social responsibility with our towel re-use program as a water conserving method.

There are many ways to go green on your wedding day, and the Inn at Essex has already started to make your special day socially responsible. Here at the Inn our food products come from local, seasonal and sustainable farms and vendors.  Recently, we have begun to research ways to make your event even greener. For example, using soy candles, reducing plastic and paper usage, and purchasing green cleaning products that contain natural ingredients.

By Mimi Overman

I’ve retired twice in my life. The first time, after I had sold my conference and event-planning firm based in New Jersey. Soon after I sold my firm, I received and accepted an appointment from Governor Jim Douglas to become the Director of Sales & Promotion for Vermont Tourism. Vermont leaders later asked me to run the Vermont Convention Bureau.

Hey, what’s better than selling Vermont every day?

When I decided to conclude my public service career a few months ago, only one job could have drawn me out of retirement a second time; the opportunity to work with friends and sell The Essex every day to organizers of meetings, incentive travel programs, events, reunions, etc.

So here I am, mixing and matching the quality and amenities of the Lake Champlain Region’s leading resort, the totally trendy destination of Burlington, and the wrap-around activities of Vermont. Oh, yes, at the same time I’m helping organizers plan their group events and travel at The Essex. I work with Vermont’s happiest resort staff, dine on Vermont’s finest cuisine every day, and stay fit “test-driving” all of great  recreational assets at The Essex. I’m looking forward to our huge indoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness center when they open in May and selling The Essex to the group market, watching the joy of our group guests, and having fun here myself makes my third retirement seem like a long way off.

By Dave Hakins

Here at NECI we take pride in our culinary-education heritage in order to better serve our guests. This February we would like to take the opportunity to expand your knowledge of sparkling wines, specifically: what it is you’re drinking and where it comes from.

It is a common misconception that Champagne comes from different countries all over the world. However, did you know that the word Champagne is legally reserved for a specific variety of sparkling wine originating exclusively from the Champagne region of France? It is for this reason that, here in the United States, the champagne produced is labeled Sparkling Wine. Similarly, in Italy it is called Prosecco, and Spain’s product is Cava. There are also different classifications of Champagne. For example, most Champagne Houses have what’s called a Cuvees de Prestige, or a Deluxe addition. For example, Veuve Cliquot’s Cuvees de Prestige is called Grande Dame, and Moet Chandon produces one of the most famous, Dom Perignon. There are also Blanc de Blanc’s (white of whites) that are made completely of Chardonnay, or Blanc de Noir’s (white of blacks) which is made completely from a mixture of Pinot Noir and Pinot Menieur.

Valentine’s Day is an occasion perfectly suited to sharing a glass of bubbly with a special person, and throughout the month of February, take 20% off all Champagne and Sparkling Wines at our NECI restaurants here at The Essex!

Chris Benjamin, Food & Beverage Director