The dining room of the Chef's Palette Cafe & Grill
looks much like any high-end restaurant. A hostess stand sits at the entrance. Formal place settings, replete with bread plates, salad, and dinner forks on the left, crisp white triangular folded napkins in the middle, two knives to the right, dessert fork and spoon atop, and water goblet just off to the side, sit on each tabletop. Pristine black tablecloths gently drape over wood-framed chairs with deep-red upholstered seatbacks and cushions.
Although the space itself seems intimate enough, there is more of a buzz in the air than you would find at most formal spots. Windows exposing classrooms and kitchens surround the room. Students excitedly pass back and forth from room to room wearing bright-white chef's coats, often carrying with them books and the occasional cake or baked good.
Part of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, the Chef's Palette is a student-run restaurant. As a six-credit class usually taken during an undergrad's last semester, the restaurant gives future chefs hands-on training in the real-time workings of a live restaurant. During the ten-week course, students take turns operating the front and back of house for paying customers, spending half of the time in each area with a role that changes daily.
Read the full review on Chef's Palette Cafe & Grill in Fort Lauderdale.