The 50-seat dining room is adjacent to and served by the student-run production kitchen. The facility’s design, highlighted by bold lines and bright colors, garnered LS3P Associates an Honor Award, the American Institute of Architect’s highest. Inside 181 Palmer’s sparkling glass walls, tables are dressed in crisp linens and Stolzle stemware, state-of-the-art technology streams in action from the kitchen, and skilled CIC students produce and serve a seasonal prix fixe menu for a value that Southern Living magazine labeled “How to Save Money on Fine Cuisine.”
Chef Scott Stefanelli joined the Culinary Institute of Charleston in January 2006 as an adjunct instructor, becoming a full-time chef instructor in 2008. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Miami University of Ohio and an associate degree in culinary arts from Kendall College in Chicago, Illinois. He also served as a chef instructor for four years at Kendall College. In addition to his time as a culinary educator, he has cooked professionally since 1989, gaining experience in fine-dining establishments in Paris and Chicago. Chef Stefanelli was the sous chef for Paul LoDuca at Vinci Restaurant in Chicago, which was named the best new restaurant in Chicago in 1991 by the Chicago Sun Times. He settled in Charleston in 1995, where he worked with both Chef Louis Osteen and Chef Frank McMahon. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation and has worked for the advancement of sustainability through the Chef's Collaborative, the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, and The Center for Advancement of Foodservice Education.
Chef Stefanelli is the Chef Instructor for the Culinary Institute's downtown campus 181 Palmer restaurant, which has been recognized in Southern Living magazine, Charleston magazine, The Charleston City Paper, The Charleston Mercury, and The Charleston Chef's Table.