Hotel Online Special Report

Chef André Soltner Advises Students at 
School of Hospitality Business at MSU 
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 talents.

Soltner 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 University.

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.

The School of Hospitality Business
Michigan State University
232 Eppley Center
East Lansing, MI  48824-1121 
Kristin St. Marie
Tel: (517) 353-9211 
FAX: (517) 432-1170
Also See: Dan W. Darrow and Theda L. Rudd Honored by The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Associationat Michigan State University / March 1999 
Robert H. Burns, Founder of Regent International Hotels, Serves as Visiting Industry Professor at the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University / April 1999 
EI Awards Dr. Ronald Cichy the Lamp of Knowledge Award / April 1999 

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