The Savory Palate
A gourmet 3-course meal in Draper, with a new menu each week, and priced under $13. This is The Savory Palate.
The Savory Palate is actually a classroom project for the culinary school at the Arts Institute of Salt Lake City. After the students have completed most of their coursework, and after an internship training at a local restaurant, they return for their final project of running their own restaurant. During this project, each student takes a turn as head chef, developing the menu and managing the kitchen. Diners choose one item from each course, which features a choice of three appetizers, two main dishes, and three dessert options.
On my visit, I saw a choice between Lemon herbed chicken and Scallop pasta. To be honest, I was very apprehensive. I'm a big fan of seafood, but scallops can be a tricky ingredient to really prepare correctly. Also, I'm not a big fan of chicken. My order for the meal: Gorgonzola and white wine cheeseballs with homemade crackers to start, Scallops and pasta topped with red pepper and garlic sauce, and Chocolate marscarpone roulade for dessert.
Honestly, no regrets at all from ordering the scallops. They were perfectly cooked, and the sauce was incredibly delicious. What was a major risk for these students turned out to be a big win. I was quite pleased to be served a dish by future chefs who weren't afraid to take chances with something extraordinary. There were no shortcuts taken, and they didn't try to be safe with a flavorless sauce.
The other courses were equally impressive. The cheeseballs were unlike any preparation I've had before, and was a great size for an appetizer. The chocolate marscarpone roulade was rich without being too sweet. Chocolate is another ingredient that I'm admittedly picky about, as most either over-sweeten, or make too rich to finish.
Chef Shawn Bucher supervises this class, and allows the students to drive the entire process. They are allowed to be creative with their menu, and make their own mistakes so they can learn to adjust. Under his guidance, they are truly learning to bring their passion for food to us, and I look forward to the day when these students are creating more dishes in restaurants around the valley and beyond.
The future is looking bright for these students, and that is good news for all of us who enjoy a great meal.
The Savory Palate is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays through September 8, when it temporarily closes for the term break. Make reservations by calling 801-601-4769.
121 Election Road, Ste 100
Read more from Nick Johnson at Salt Lake City's examiner.com.