|East Lansing, MI - April 26, 1999 - The School of Hospitality
Business at Michigan State University is delighted to announce that the
famed Chef André Soltner and his wife, Simone, visited The School
the week of April 7 - April 10, 1999. Chef Soltner spent three days
speaking with students of The School, attending a dinner prepared by The
School's Chef Robert Nelson and the Advanced Foodservice Management students,
supervised the preparation of a dinner at the residence of MSU President
Peter McPherson, and concluding his visit by attending Les Gourmets, a
student-run organization for the past 47 years where the students prepared
and presented a fine dining experience. The 1999 Les Gourmets dinner
theme was "Flappers & Razzmatazz." Les Gourmet is considered
the event-of-the-year for students of The School to showcase their culinary
was born in Thann, Alsace, in 1932. At the age of fifteen, he decided
to become a chef. He was inspired to become a chef even earlier in
his life as reflected by a quote from his mother, “When André was
ten, I was ill for three weeks. He did all of the cooking for his
father, his brother and himself. Even pastries. I had never
noticed that he was in the kitchen often, or that he watched or asked me
questions and I never tried to teach him. But suddenly, he simply
began to cook.” He trained in the French provinces and then in the
Swiss Alps, before working in Paris at the restaurant Chez Hansi.
In 1961, the founder of Lutèce, André Surmain, lured Soltner
to New York to be its first chef. He eventually became a partner
in the restaurant, and in 1972 its sole owner. After more than three
decades at Lutèce, Soltner sold the restaurant in 1994, but he remains
a part owner as well as consulting chef.
During his class presentation for The School's students, Chef Soltner
advised students to start small if they want to own their own restaurant.
"Don't try to cheat the customers. Customers are interested in food.
Food is now a pleasure, not just an issue of sustenance. Let what
is fresh in the market determine your menu. Customers want fresh
items on the menu. Your staff will only cook with pleasure if they
are using fresh ingredients."
Chef Soltner has received many honors for his talents including Chef
of the Year by "Chef's in America" in 1990; Fine Dining Hall of Fame Legend,
Chicago, in 1996; Doctor of Culinary Arts; and 1968, his talents were commended
with the highest distinction, the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
These distinctions were complemented when Soltner was designated an "Honorary
Faculty Member" in The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State
Founded in 1927, The School of Hospitality Business at MSU has more
than 8,000 graduates worldwide. The mission of The School is to be
the leader in hospitality business education through teaching, research,
and service. Recognized as the top-ranked business college-based
hospitality school in the world, The School offers an exceptionally well-crafted
curriculum taught by innovative professors, who are leading textbook authors,
sought-after consultants, and respected researchers. The School of
Hospitality Business Alumni Association was founded in 1948 as the Michigan
State College Hotel Administration Alumni Association. The mission
of The School's Alumni Association is to provide active leadership in support
of participation, image enhancement, financial commitment, and promotion
of synergies among students, faculty, alumni, and friends.