Master Chef Whips Up 5-Star Cuisine For PASSOVER at Unlikely Venue

Palace-Outdoor-dining 6Chateaubriand, rack of lamb and chicken cordon bleu are not what you think of when it comes to the food served at most senior living communities, but then again, most senior living communities are not THE PALACE- CORAL GABLES.

Set in the heart of the upscale Miracle Mile Shopping district in Florida’s Coral Gables is the now, one-year old PALACE, a state-of-the-art and luxurious senior living community that stands out with so many awards (BEST INDEPENDENT LIVING, BEST INDOOR SPACES, BEST DINING, etc.) they are too numerous to list.  The Palace seems more like a luxury ocean liner rather than a senior community, albeit stationary.

Among the fine amenities is the five- star cuisine that is served up every evening by Corporate Master Chef Rolf Nettesheim, who was classically trained at one of Germany’s most prestigious culinary schools and then worked throughout Europe.  He is also an award winning pastry chef and bee-keeper, who makes his own honey for THE PALACE Coral Gables, as well as the other Palace senior living properties that comprise the Palace Group.

Chef Rolf says he started bringing high quality cuisine to senior living communities more than 15 years ago, when he was first hired by the PALACE GROUP, and today he has set the standard for good food in senior living communities.  “We don’t used canned or frozen anything, just high quality ingredients such as locally grown produce, fresh fish, and fresh herbs, with everything made from scratch,” says Chef Rolf.

In addition to elegant entrees, Chef Rolf  likes to offer foods with that home-cooked feel, such as stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage – he even grind his own beef because pre-ground beef is not high enough quality for The Palace.

Chef Rolf says he is put to the culinary test every day, because unlike a restaurant where every night you are serving new customers,  at the Palace properties you feed the same people almost every night, “so I have to keep surprising the residents and keep them happy on a daily basis, which also keeps me challenged,” adds Chef Rolf.

His Masters in Culinary Arts and his experience at hotels and throughout Europe has taught him well. According to Chef Rolf, “I once ran out of ramekins for crème brulee, so I had to think fast – I cut out the inside of oranges and used the peel as ramekins. Today, the aroma of orange oils mixed with carmelized sugar of the brulee make it the favorite dessert item on the menu at The Palace.”

Guests of Palace residents who want to dine at the Palace may do so for lunch ($10) and dinner ($30), and birthday and anniversary parties for residents and friends are invited to celebrate in the private dining room, complimentary.

With the baby-boom generation turning 65 at a rate of 8,000 people a day, the number of retirement, senior living and assisted living communities being built is growing by leaps and bounds, and The PALACE is changing the face of senior living, as inspired by Chef Rolf.


Inspired by the world-renown George V Hotel of Paris, The Palace offers 240 residences for independent living, impeccably decorated public and private spaces, 24 hour security and surveillance cameras, 4-course dining with wine accompaniment, activities, transportation, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a separate floor for assisted living for those needing special services and care.


The Palace at Coral Gables is the latest in a number of high-end projects by The Palace Group, which is known as South Florida’s leading organization specializing in services and care of active adults and seniors. Owned and operated by Helen and Jacob Shaham and their two sons, Zack and Haim, The Palace Group develops and manages a variety of senior living communities and services in South Florida and Israel, comprising 1,844 units with over 1,200 employees.

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