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Executive Chefs
Committed to Excellence

Meet Our Executive Chefs

MSU Culinary Services is home to some of the best chefs in the industry. Together, our Executive Chefs and Sous Chefs create top-notch cuisine for university students, faculty, staff and guests. Our chefs have won prestigious national awards, graduated from top culinary institutes and worked in some of the best kitchens throughout the U.S. and the world.

Chef Kwiatkowski

Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski

Corporate Chef, Culinary Services

As corporate chef, Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski sets the standards for all menus in MSU’s residential dining halls and on-campus QSR operations, creates new menu options for concessions, monitors and upholds food standards for retail and residential dining, develops culinary training, and works with neighborhood executive chefs to support their coaching efforts within their kitchens. Prior to joining MSU, he worked as a chef at Mountain Jacks and Morrison's Restaurant Company. Chef Kurt holds a bachelor’s degree in Food Systems Management and Economics and a master’s degree from The School of Hospitality Business, both from MSU. He is also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America CEIP program and is an active member in the American Culinary Federation, winning numerous medals in culinary competitions.

Chef Batten

Chef Eric Batten

Executive Chef
The Edge at Akers, Holmes Dining Hall

Chef Eric Batten has been in the restaurant / hospitality business for 21 years. Before joining MSU, he worked as sous chef at the University of Iowa catering department, a kitchen manager at the Iowa River power company steak house, and a line cook in Iowa, Texas and Colorado. Chef Eric is a culinary arts graduate from Kirkwood Community College in Iowa as well as a certified executive chef through the American Culinary Federation. He is passionate about cooking with local ingredients such as those from the MSU Student Organic Farm. Chef Eric also enjoys participating in and judging various cooking competitions. He has placed in or won multiple events, including the Taste of Elegance sponsored by the National Pork Board and the state of Michigan.

Chef Cruz

Chef Kevin Cruz

Executive Chef
The Vista at Shaw, Riverwalk Market at Owen

For more than 10 years, Chef Kevin Cruz has served in an executive chef role. His passion for the culinary arts stems from his experience as a U.S. Marine, when he had the opportunity to taste unique cuisine from all over the world. While studying at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Chef Kevin completed an externship at Pinehurst Golf Resort in North Carolina, working during the U.S. Open. After graduating, he served as the executive chef of Lansing Sheraton, which received the #1 Food Quality Award for all North American Sheraton Hotels. Additionally, he has worked at the Vail Marriott in Colorado as well as Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Fla. Chef Kevin enjoys connecting with students at MSU, helping shape their futures by teaching them important life skills. He also shares his Puerto Rican heritage and culture with Spartans through food.

Chef Latz

Chef Bryan Latz

Executive Chef
South Pointe at Case, Holden Dining Hall, Wilson Dining Hall

Chef Bryan Latz has worked in foodservice for more than 14 years, joining the MSU team in 2012 and playing an integral role in the opening of The Vista at Shaw. After furthering his education at Central Michigan University and Lansing Community College, he began his culinary career as a kitchen supervisor and line cook at Flap Jack Restaurant. Before transitioning to his current role at MSU, Chef Bryan also served as executive chef and kitchen manager for The Claddagh Irish Pub, sous chef for Enso in East Lansing and a kitchen supervisor at Bar 30. He brings experience in a variety of areas, including facility setup and layout, staff training, and the transformation of underperforming locations to profitable operations. Growing up in Michigan, Chef Bryan appreciates all the Midwest region has to offer. His family hunted, fished, gardened and foraged, so he enjoys incorporating Midwest favorites and flavors in the menu development process and organizing special events in South Neighborhood to honor our state’s vast agriculture.

Chef Ly

Chef Dien Ly

Executive Chef
The Gallery at Snyder Phillips

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Chef Dien Ly started cooking at a young age, learning French-Vietnamese fusion cuisine. Before transitioning to her current role, she served as a sous chef at Heritage Commons at Landon, helping craft a new menu for the renovated hall before it reopened in 2014. Chef Dien is a graduate of the Saigon Women’s Cooking Institute. She continued her education after moving to the United States, earning a Culinary Arts and Hotel Management degree from Lansing Community College. Prior to joining the MSU team, Chef Dien served as a young executive and co-owner of a Franco-Vietnamese restaurant, Con Ve Sau (La Cigale), and worked at Christie’s Bistro as well as the Lansing Sheraton Hotel. She uses her more than 20 years of culinary experience to create innovative meals with unique flavors for Spartans and their families.

Chef Strotheide

Chef Jason Strotheide

Executive Chef
Brody Square, Heritage Commons at Landon

Chef Jason Strotheide has been with MSU for more than 15 years. During the renovation of The Edge at Akers, he played an integral role in menu development and advanced equipment training. As a teenager, Chef Jason began his path in foodservice and culinary arts as a dishwasher. He has worked in a variety of settings, ranging from unique boutique restaurants to hotels and conference centers, catering operations and more. Chef Jason enjoys growing his own vegetables and sourcing meats and other products locally whenever possible. He has been recognized for his dedication to welcoming international students by the Office of International Students and Scholars, playing a key role in the chef exchange with Beijing Normal University that occurred in 2016 as well as the Temple Fair organized each year to honor the Chinese New Year.