Our Chefs

The Culinary Team

The State Room Restaurant employs an extraordinarily diverse and talented team of culinary professionals. Our chefs come from around the world and create unique flavors and cultural styles for you to explore in our menus, from American to European to Indian and more. When you dine with us, indulge in a culinary experience created by our dedicated chefs who put passion in every dish. 

MSU students from The School of Hospitality Business help support our team in the kitchen, in the restaurant, and banquets. Over 400,000 guests visit the Kellogg Center annually, and we serve an average of 1,500 meals per day.

Chef Michael Clyne

Michael Clyne

Senior Executive Chef of Retail Services

Mike Clyne serves as the Senior Executive Chef of Retail Services for MSU, overseeing Kellogg Center operations, Sparty's mini-markets, Sparty's Market 1855 Place, MSU Concessions and The Workshop at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility. As a graduate of Carlett Park College in England, Chef Clyne received his culinary training in Europe and earned city and guild certifications in culinary arts. Before joining MSU, he worked as a chef in Bermuda, Jamaica, England, Saudi Arabia and Wales. He also worked for Westin and Hyatt Hotels across the U.S. His favorite foods are steak and chocolate. His specialties are desserts and sauces.

Chef Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson

Executive Chef, Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center

Chef Matt brings more than 20 years of experience to the Kellogg Center as the executive chef. He specializes in French cuisine and is known for adding a Midwestern flair to his simple, but elegant, culinary creations. He was educated in Seattle, Washington, where he studied under master chef Roland Henin. Then for three years at Seattle's four-star and five-diamond Sorrento Hotel, he worked closely with celebrity chef Graham Kerr on developing healthy cooking recipes for a cookbook. In the kitchen, chef Matt is the go-to person if you need to reach something on the top shelf. Outside of the kitchen he enjoys golfing and spending time on the many Michigan lakes. He also wants people to know that chefs eat Taco Bell too; maybe just not as often as he does. When you see chef Matt around the hotel ask him about his favorite cooking technique; braising.
 

Chef Rob Trufant

Rob Trufant

Executive Chef

Chef Trufant's love affair with food began at a berry farm and orchard in northeastern Michigan. Throughout the years, his passion has grown deeper. As a graduate of The School of Hospitality Business at MSU, the Michigan native found his calling as a caterer while traveling the states. Chef Trufant joined the MSU Athletic Catering and Event Services team in 2006 and he was promoted to the role of sous chef for Kellogg Catering in 2010. Today he is proud to call the banks of the Red Cedar his home and serves as executive chef for Kellogg Catering.

Chef Scott Danci

Scott Danci

Executive Sous Chef

Chef Danci is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan who developed a passion for food while growing up. His family owned a restaurant on the west side of Ann Arbor. He came to MSU to pursue a degree from The School of Hospitality Business and began his employment as a student within the catering department. He continued his culinary development after graduation and has been in the Kellogg Catering department since 2011, where he currently serves as a sous chef. 

Executive Chef Sarah Kops

Sarah Kops

Executive Sous Chef

Executive Sous Chef Sarah Kops has been with the culinary team in the State Room for six and a half years. Since her first job at 15 years old as a dishwasher, chef Sarah has been passionate about working in a kitchen. Aside from cooking, chef Sarah is known to be crafty and inventive when it comes to creating a meal; every element and technique is intentional. She enjoys experimenting with new recipes. Sarah’s favorite cooking technique is braising meat and she loves to make smoked brisket. When Sarah is not working in the kitchen, she likes to spend time outdoors, especially enjoys paddle boarding, hiking, and kayaking. A fun fact about Sarah is that she was the first female chef for the State Room and her hidden talent is sewing.

Chef Tom Stavischeck

Tom Stavischeck

Sous Chef

Chef Tom has been the Kellogg Center’s extraordinary sous chef for the past 21 years. Tom was first inspired to pursue a career in the hospitality industry when he worked with a chef in Arizona. His staple dish is southern comfort food; recreating classic dishes that satisfy the soul with every bite. Over the years, he has perfected flavor balance and masterfully executes every meal. Chef Tom has many responsibilities, including ordering the meat and seafood for the restaurant, plating meals, completing payroll and writing food schedules. But, his favorite part of the job is seeing the happy guests at the end of a meal. When Tom isn’t in the State Room, he enjoys collecting baseball cards and throwing darts. A fun fact about Tom is that he has hiked the Grand Canyon several times and has a big sweet tooth; often you find him drinking Coca-Cola instead of coffee. He is also a die-hard NFL fan compared to the other Kellogg Center chefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers will always be the No. 1 team in his heart.
 

Chef Christoph Waldburger

Christoph Waldburger

Sous Chef

Since 1999, Chef Christoph has developed professional culinary and kitchen management skills. After graduating from the Culinary Academy of Bern, Switzerland in 1995, he spent three seasons at the Palace Hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland before moving to the U.S. to continue his career in Nevada. Over nearly 12 years, Chef Christoph worked in a variety of settings, including a casino, correctional facility, golf course and food company before transitioning to an Executive Chef role at a multimillion-dollar operation in South Dakota. He joined the MSU Culinary Services team as an Assistant Dining Services Manager in East Neighborhood. Prior to joining the Kellogg Center team, Chef Christoph served as Sous Chef at The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips, assisting with menu planning, forecasting, specials events and team member development.

Marianne Bacon

Operations Manager

Marianne Bacon has been with the team since 2011. She oversees the State Room Restaurant and Lounge, room service, and food and beverage operations. In addition, Marianne directs the beverage program and our award-winning wine list. She is available to assist guests with special requests and private party bookings.

Telephone: 517-884-8135
Email: baconma2@msu.edu

Mary Welsh

State Room Manager

Mary Welsh has been a member of the team since 2007. She oversees dining services for the restaurant and specializes in adding extra special touches to guest celebrations.

Telephone: 517-884-8101
Email: welshma@msu.edu

Elayna Creed

State Room Manager

Elayna Creed has been a member of the team since 2016. She oversees dinner and lounge service and can assist with private party bookings. Elayna also helps the beverage team with our spirits program and inventory management.

Telephone: 517-884-8101
Email: creedela@msu.edu