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, Spartan Hospitality Group

Chef Mike serves as the senior executive chef for both Kellogg Center and Kellogg Catering. 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, chef Mike 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 Rajeev Patgaonkar

Rajeev Patgaonkar

Executive Sous Chef, Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center

Chef Rajeev brings the flavors of Indian cuisine to the delight of guests in the State Room Restaurant. His specialty is cooking with fresh Indian cuisine, herbs, and spices and creatively experimenting to find the perfect balance of flavors. He was the first one in his family to venture into the hospitality field. In 2018, chef Rajeev was awarded the Honorable Golden Toque, which is the highest acclaimed recognition a chef can receive in America. Chef Rajeev entered the hospitality industry quite by accident. He was living in India and had applied to engineer college, but never received his acceptance letter because of the monsoon season. Chef Rajeev's uncle then suggested that he pursue a culinary degree. Subsequently, chef Rajeev ended up attending Bombay Catering College. Outside of work, he likes to give back to the community. He volunteers to present seminars on Indian cuisine and judges local Michigan culinary events. 
 

Chef Gerhard Steiner

Gerhard Steiner

Executive Sous Chef, Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center

Chef Gerhard has been the Kellogg Center’s renowned executive sous chef since the 1990s. He is known for his culinary combinations with a hint of tradition and a creative modern twist. He is also a skilled butcher, a rare skill in the culinary world today. If you need something sliced and diced, chef Gerhard is excellent with a knife. Born in Munich, chef 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 Bayerischer Hof where he earned the coveted designation, certified cook. He opened his own restaurant in Durango, Colorado in the 1980s. Eventually, he made his way to Florida to take over as executive chef at the Harbor Island Hotel and the Jupiter Beach Hilton, before joining the team at MSU. Outside of work, chef Gerhard is an avid football fan, always rooting for his favorite team. (Go FC Bayern Munich!)
 

Chef Sarah Kops

Sarah Kops

Chef, Kellogg Center Banquets

Chef Sarah 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, State Room Restaurant

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 Brad Curlee

Brad Curlee

Chef, State Room Restaurant

Chef Brad has been cooking for MSU for 11 years, and he recently transitioned from the executive chef for Cowles House (residence for MSU’s president) to working at the Kellogg Center. In 2009, he started working for Spartan Signature Catering (now known as Kellogg Catering) as an executive chef. After seven years, he transitioned into the position of executive chef for Cowles House. He enjoyed the change of pace and the role of “personal chef.” It was different from catering because of the one-on-one interaction. He also loved working with the student-only team. Chef Brad then was transferred to the State Room while the president’s house was being remodeled. We now welcome him as a permanent team member. Chef Brad received his culinary art degree from Joliet Junior College in Chicago, Illinois. For eight months following his schooling, he interned as the lead sous chef in the Canyon Lands Lodging area in Yellowstone National Park. Chef had many interesting experiences there, including cooking on a wagon train for group tours. He also worked in several other places and positions before coming to MSU, like Chicago, Boston, and Denver. He even had the opportunity to spend time cooking on a boat in Florida that sailed to the Bahamas and islands off the coast of Cuba and Miami. Chef Brad’s favorite part of working for the State Room is the freedom of creativity that working in a restaurant gives him as a chef. He enjoys trying new ideas and cooking techniques. Outside of work, Chef Brad has many interests. He is a talented woodworker (owns a business) and enjoys camping, paddle boarding, and traveling with his Australian Cattle dog. Fun fact, his dog has been to 20 national parks, in two caves, and paddle boarded all five Great Lakes with him.

Marianne Bacon

Operations Manager

Team member since 2011. Oversees State Room Restaurant and Lounge, room service, and food and beverage operations. Directs the beverage program and award-winning wine list. Available to assist guests with special requests and private party bookings.

Telephone: 517-432-5049
Email: baconma2@msu.edu

Mary Welsh

State Room Manager

Team member since 2007. Mary oversees breakfast and lunch service for the restaurant and specializes in adding extra special touches to guest celebrations.

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

Nathan Greene

State Room Manager

Team member since 1998. Nathan oversees dining service and is available to help with private party bookings and special events. He also assists the beverage team with our craft beer program.

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

Elayna Creed

State Room Manager

Team member since 2016. Elayna oversees dinner and lounge service and can assist with private party bookings. She also assists the beverage team with our spirits program and inventory management.

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