Restaurant operators are famous for giving back, but no one’s ever given a gift quite like the one The Palm Restaurant owner Wally Ganzi bestowed upon Paul Smith’s College on Sept. 30. Ganzi, an alumnus of the school, donated funds to build a “Mini Palm” on the grounds of the college, which is located in the same-named town of Paul Smith’s in upstate New York. His gift marks the 80th anniversary of The Palm, which operates 29 high-end steakhouse restaurants.
Officially known as the Wally Ganzi Restaurant Training Center at Paul Smith’s College, the state-of-the art installation is a replica of a full-scale Palm. That means caricature-adorned walls, mahogany detailing, stained glass features that once hung in a Palm Restaurant, plus a dining area, bar and kitchen. Culinary students will use the facility to capture the experience of working in a fine dining restaurant. The “Mini Palm” will function as a restaurant featuring cuisine prepared by Paul Smith’s students and faculty for local residents and guests, and will also be used as a special events facility.
“I had a wonderful experience as a student at Paul Smith’s and am proud and honored to play a role in helping to educate the next generation of restaurateurs,” says Ganzi.