Culinary Program Brings Pop-up Restaurant to Northwest Florida State College

NICEVILLE, FL – The cafeteria at the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College will look a little different on Thursdays this fall; that’s because the Culinary Program has launched a new pop-up restaurant, Seagrass. The restaurant offers a real-world learning environment for both the Culinary Management and Hospitality Program students at NWFSC.

“The most important aspect of both our Culinary and Hospitality programs is that we offer hands-on learning experiences to our students,” said Julie Cotton, Director of Hospitality & Tourism Management and Culinary Arts at NWFSC. “Seagrass will provide our students with a real fine-dining restaurant environment from the back-of-house line cooks to the front-of-house servers.”

Seagrass launched Thursday, September 12, with a three-course French-inspired menu. Diners were treated to a palate-opening amuse-bouche followed by a salad, entrée of choice and dessert. All aspects of the meal were prepared in the campus kitchen by culinary students and NWFSC Assistant Professor of Culinary Arts Layne Eggers.

Servers at Seagrass include culinary students and other NWFSC students, and in the spring, will also include members of the Hospitality Program. Tables were set with linens, glassware and silverware for a three course meal, and each table was decorated with live seagrass grown by NWFSC’s own environmental group, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance.

“It makes me proud to see our students living out their dreams,” said Dr. Devin Stephenson, NWFSC president. “Seagrass is a fine example of the excellence of our programs and the high level of expertise and professionalism our students are achieving while studying here at Northwest Florida State College.”

Seagrass will host luncheons at the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College on Thursdays through November 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call (850) 863-6520 or email to reserve a seat. Visit to view the Seagrass menu and learn more about NWFSC Culinary and Hospitality Programs.

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