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State Room Chefs
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Chef's Corner

Who & What's Cooking at Kellogg

The Kellogg Center is home to an extraordinarily diverse, talented team of culinary professionals as well as a large support staff comprised of many students from MSU's The School of Hospitality Business. With over 400,000 visitors coming through our doors annually, it is not unusal for our dedicated kitchen and banquet staffs to serve an average of 1500 meals per day, requiring a great deal of organization, planning, and most importantly, team work. The Kellogg Center also hosts a multitude of special events including the popular Visiting Chef Series, now in its 14th year, which brings award winning chefs from across the country to the hotel for interactive cooking demonstrations.

We'd like to introduce you to our chefs as well as share some of their favorite recipes with you.

The Kellogg Cuisine Team

Michael Clyne, Senior Executive Chef

Chef Michael Clyne currently serves as Senior Executive Chef for both the Kellogg Center and Spartan Signature Catering. As a graduate of Carlett Park College in England, Chef Clyne received his culinary training in Europe, and has city and guild certifications in culinary arts. Prior to joining MSU, Chef Clyne worked as a chef in Bermuda, Jamaica, England, Saudi Arabia and Wales, and worked for Westin and Hyatt Hotels across the U.S. Most recently, Chef Clyne was named “2010 Culinary Star of the Year” by the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association. His favorite foods are steak and chocolate, and his specialties are desserts and sauces.

Sarah Kops

State Room Chef

The Kellogg Center welcomed Sarah Kops to their culinary team in 2012 as the new State Room Chef.  She holds the distinction of being the first female State Room chef and the special touches she adds to her food presentations are drawing rave reviews. A Michigan native and graduate of Grand Rapids Community College, Sarah returned to Michigan with excellent references and vast experience with over 15 years in the culinary industry and quality hotel operations. She worked the past 8 years with Four Diamond Properties, most recently at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Squaw Valley, CA. 


Gerhard Steiner

Executive Sous Chef

Born in Munich, Chef Gerhard Steiner grew up in the food business at the feet of his father, a pastry chef and restaurateur. It was as an apprentice at the Hotel Bayerishcher Hof that he earned the coveted designation, certified cook. He opened his own restaurant in Durango, Colo. in the 1980s and eventually made his way to Florida to take over as executive chef at the Harbor Island Hotel and the Jupiter Beach Hilton. Chef Steiner joined the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in the 1990s.

Rajeev Patgaonkar

Executive Sous Chef

Chef Rajeev Patagaonkar brings the flavors of Indian cuisine to the delight of guests at Kellogg’s State Room Restaurant. In 2006, Chef Patagaonkar was awarded the prestigious President’s Medallion from the American Culinary Federation in recognition of his service to the culinary profession and the ACF. Among his many honors, he won the Thomas Jefferson Award for Culinary Excellence (2001), the L.J. Minor Lifetime Achievement Award (1999) and was named ACF Chef of the Year (1998).

Tom Stavischeck

Sous Chef

Chef Thomas Stavischeck received training at the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York and has a wealth of culinary experience. Since joining the Kellogg Center in 1998, Chef Stavischeck has served as sous chef and executive chef. He was executive chef and club manager for the Ramshorn Country Club in Fremont, Michigan and was chef de cuisine at the Golden Trout Restaurant in Farmington, Pennsylvania.



Matt Wilson

Sous Chef

Chef Matthew Wilson was born and raised in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, where he began his culinary career. He received his education in cooking in Seattle, Washington, where he studied under master chef Roland Henin. He worked for three years at Seattle's 4-star and 5-diamond Sorrento Hotel, where he worked closely with celebrity chef Graham Kerr on developing healthy cooking recipes for a cookbook. Chef Wilson brings more than 20 years of experience to the Kellogg Center where he focuses on simple but elegant dishes with a Midwestern flair.


Featured Recipes

From our (really big) kitchen to yours...

Chefs in the Kitchen

The Kellogg Center is host to over 400,000 visitors per year and it is not uncommon for us to serve upwards of 1500 meals
a day. This takes a lot of planning and a really dedicated culinary staff. We count ourselves extremely fortunate to have 
such a talented and diverse group of chefs both working at, and visiting the Kellogg throughout the year. We'd like to share
some of their outstanding gastronomic efforts with you.

                                              Bon appétit!

Chef Mike Clyne's Tips for Preparing Garlic- Ginger BB Chicken

Cutting up a whole chicken:
1. Remove legs by makng a cut along the backbone and above the top of the oysters.
2. Flip the chicken over and make an incision throught the skin around the legs and push on the legs until they come free.
3. Cut through the leg joint and then cut skin and pull legs free.
4. Slice the leg into 2 pieces at the joint.
5. Slice off the wings at the joint.
6. Slice down the backbone to release the breast, making sure you pull the breast away from the bone as you go. Slice breast into halves.

Preparing Garlic:
1. Press down on whole garlic to separate cloves
2. Lay cloves on a flat surface, lay the side of your knife atop garlic and smack gently to release skin.
3. Peel garlic and start to chop. When it is roughly chopped add a little salt; this will help to keep the garlic in place while you continue to chop finely.

Preparing Ginger:
1. Peel ginger, use the top of teaspoon and scrape away the skin.
2. Cut any snarly bits with a small sharp knife.
3. Slice ginger thinly.
4. Place slices atop each other and julienne very fine.(Note: you can also grate the ginger but watch your fingers!)

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder

Mix all ingredients together, add cut up chicken, marinate overnight, and grill.

Award-Winning Thin Mint Dark Chocolate Fudge

This fudge recipe won State Room Chef Sarah Kops, second place in the annual Girl Scout Cookie Bake-off contest. Try it for yourself and see why Lansing State Journal columnist Vicki Dozier, commented that "it melted in my mouth".


6 oz. bitter chocolate
1/4 c marshmallow creme
1½ oz. unsweetened chocolate,chopped
1½ c sugar
3/4 c sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c water
1/3 c whipping cream
1/4 c butter
3 oz. thin mint cookies, finely crushed

Place the first 4 ingredients into a metal bowl. Mix sugar, milk, water, crem and butter in a pot. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Brush down sugar from sides of pan. Increase to high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to medium heat. Cook until 232º. Pour boiling mixture over the metal bowl. Stir with vigor until chocolate melts and thickens. Refrigerate for 2 hrs. Cut into fudge squares.

Courtesy of Visiting Chef Hoss Zaré (10-2013)

Baklava with persian cream

Baklava Ingredients:

1 lb     Butter, melted
2 cups  Toasted Pistachios, chopped in robot coupe & tossed with powdered sugar and cinnamon
10 sheets Filo Dough
Baklava Syrup
1 cup  Sugar
1 cup  Water
½ cup  Honey
1 tsp  Vanilla Extract

Place 2 sheets of dough in tray and butter thoroughly. Top with nuts. Repeat 4 more times until 10 sheets layered.  Cut into square shapes all the way to the bottom of the tray (3½ x 3).
Bake at 350◦F for 25-30 minutes.  While baking, make the baklava syrup by bringing sugar, water and honey to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened, then add vanilla.  Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon syrup over it.  Let cool.

Custard Cream for Layered Baklava

½ cup  Sugar
6 each Egg Yolks
12 oz  Mascarpone Cheese
1 Tbsp  Vanilla Extract
2 cups Whipped Cream
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

Combine egg yolks and sugar on top of a double boiler.  Reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and whip until thick. Add mascarpone cheese and vanilla to whipped yolks and beat until combined.  Make whipped cream to stiff peaks (2 cups).  Fold the whipped cream with yolk mixture.  Divide the custard and add cocoa powder to one half of the mixture; fold until combined.

Courtesy of Visiting Chef Fred Muller

Southwest Steak
(Makes 6 servings)

6 each 8-oz Flat Iron Steaks* (brisket or skirt steak can be substituted cut into 8-oz portions)
6 each  Russet Baking Potatoes
½ cup  Canola Oil
2 each  Onions; peeled and julienned
10 cloves  Garlic; slivered
5 lbs  Frozen Mild or Medium New Mexican Whole Green Chiles**; thawed and chopped into 2” chunky pieces
1 each  16-oz can Whole Peeled Tomatoes; drained and crushed by hand
1½ tsp   Mexican Leaf Cut Oregano+
1 quart  Beef Stock
2 Tbsp  Fresh Oregano
¾ cup  Feta (preferably cow’s milk to goat); crumbled

Place steaks on cookie sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Place in 500°F oven for 20 minutes to brown. Remove from oven.

Heat canola oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic; saute for 15 minutes until onions start to soften. Add oregano, tomatoes, green chile and beef stock. Bring to a boil then turn off heat.

Place cooked Flat Iron steaks in a roasting pan. Scoop and pour chile, tomato and onion gravy over the steaks; distributing evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 500°F oven for one hour. Turn down oven to 350°F and bake two more hours or until steaks are tender.

Wash and prick baking potatoes. Place on a cookie sheet and put in oven with steaks. Bake at 450°F for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft when pricked.

Place a potato in large shallow bowl or plate. Split lengthwise, pinch open then smash down slightly. Place one steak on top of potato. Spoon onion, tomato and chile gravy over steak and potato. Garnish with two tablespoons crumbled feta and one teaspoon fresh oregano.

*local butcher
+specialty Hispanic stores or

Visiting Chef Paul Fehribach's Delicious Stovetop Cornbread

For an 8" skillet

  • 3 cups finely ground white corn meal
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup clarified butter, fresh lard, or bacon fat

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Beat eggs, then stir in buttermilk and cornmeal mixture.

Place butter in a cast iron skillet and heat on medium until oil is hot and just beginning to smoke. Pour about half the hot butter into the batter and stir. Leave the other half of batter in skillet. Pour batter into skillet. Cover and turn flame to low. Lower heat is better. Cook for about 30 minutes, until a pick inserted comes out clean. The edges of the bottom should be very crispy; the center should be very creamy, almost custard-like. Remove from the heat and cool uncovered. Serve hot from the pan or turn into a covered dish for a picnic.

Cornflake Treacle Tart with Custard
           .....A childhood recipe from England

-Tart Recipe-                                                                     

2 cups all purpose flour                                                         
¼ cup sugar                                                                      
1 pinch of salt                                                                     
½ TSP baking powder                                                         
4.5 oz. butter-softened                                                       
2-3 eggs, beaten                                                                 
1 cup cornflakes crushed (not too fine)                              
4 oz. raspberry jam                                                             
8 oz. golden syrup 

1. Combine sugar, flour, salt and baking powder.
2. Add softened butter and mix well.
3. Add eggs slowly and mix well.
4. Place in greased tart pan and form crust.
5. Bake blind at 350 degrees until lightly golden. <cool>
6. Spread a layer of jam over pastry crust.
7. Warm syrup and add cornflakes stirring well.
8. Pour cornflake mix into pie.
9. Bake until cornflakes start to lightly crisp and brown.
10.Serve warm with custard.                                                               
-Custard Recipe-

2 eggs                                                                               
1 TSP vanilla extract                                                        
2 cups milk                                                                          
4 TBS sugar                                                                        
4 TBS flour

1. Scald milk and allow to cool.
2. Combine other ingredients.
3. Stir into milk.
4. Cook over low heat until thickened.

Michigan Peach Soup

2.5 lbs. peaches roughly chopped
1 ½ cups sour cream
¾ cup pineapple juice
¾ orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup peach schnapps
2 pints lemon sorbet
8 oz. créme fraiche

1. Blend peaches and sour cream.
2. Add juices.
3. Add schnapps.
4. Add sorbet.
5. Top with créme fraiche.