The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Marquis egg chef turns in his spatula

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
Chef Mike Kramlich is set to retire on March 8.

For over 20 years, chef Mike Kramlich has fed the Lafayette community through his passion for cooking. Now, after an egg-citing career, he is looking forward to retiring next Wednesday.

Kramlich, for the past few years, has cooked breakfast sandwiches, omelets and more at his egg station in Marquis Hall. He values the conversations and laughter he has shared with students across the griddle.

“I find out what they’re [up to], especially the sports guys and gals. They talk about what it is that they’re doing and the different things that go on,” Kramlich said of the students he interacts with. “It’s really been an interesting job … To me, it’s not really even work. It’s a lot of fun.”

Kramlich didn’t always think he would become a chef. It wasn’t until he worked as a busboy for his brother that Kramlich discovered his love for cooking. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, completed his apprenticeship at the Schoenersville Inn and worked as the network executive chef at Lehigh Valley Hospital before joining campus dining.

Since 2001, Kramlich has been a staple in the Lafayette community, working throughout the years as the campus executive chef and district chef to all colleges and universities in the Lehigh Valley. 

In 2012, Kramlich stepped back from his role as executive chef to pursue other interests in his life, including spending time with his grandchildren. Yet, he continued to foster community through campus dining as the egg station chef. 

During his career, Kramlich has left a legacy with his coworkers that will not soon be forgotten.

“Throughout the years having Mike by my side has been invaluable to me,” campus executive chef John Soder wrote in an email. “Mike has been a mentor, a teacher, a resource, a place to vent, someone to confide in and someone to bounce ideas off of. “Mike’s professional culinary commitment to providing quality food, cooked with sound culinary techniques is part of the foundation I’ve used to build the dining program.”

This connection extends beyond the workplace.

“It has been truly a pleasure to work with Mike the last 15 years, and not only do I have a special connection to Mike for what he taught me, I am also able to call Mike my friend. That in itself will stay with me forever,” Soder added.

“It has been a pleasure knowing and working with Chef Mike and talk[ing] about sports with him, especially Penn State Wrestling,” general manager of Bon Appétit Christopher Brown wrote in an email. “He has been very influential in our kitchens and I will miss seeing him flipping eggs and chatting with the students in Marquis.” 

Although he is retiring, Kramlich has no intention of slowing down.

“To me, retirement is just another word for a different adventure,” Kramlich said. “I still umpire little league baseball, so during the summertime and fall, I plan on doing that. I do some kitchen work for a local club that I belong to. I golf in a league … I got two grandkids, one in high school and one in grade school. The little guy plays baseball, so I’ll be going to some of his games. And every once in a while, there’s a day off for me.”

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About the Contributors
Paige Mathieu
Paige Mathieu, Staff Culture Writer
Emma Sylvester
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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