Burton D. Morgan Lecture and Luncheon to Feature Proprietor of Chez François Restaurant

Burton D. Morgan Lecture and Luncheon to Feature Proprietor of Chez François Restaurant

4/6/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Matthew N. Mars, the proprietor for Chez François Restaurant in Vermilion, Ohio, will be the keynote speaker for the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Lecture and Luncheon at Ashland University. Mars will speak on “"Purpose and Passion."

The event will be held on Tuesday, April 14, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Myers Convocation Center. The cost is $20 per person. The program is free for AU students, faculty and staff, For required reservations and payment, contact Linda Stoffer, Dauch 101A, at 419-289-5210 or lstoffer@ashland.edu by noon on Friday, April 10.

The annual lecture and luncheon is sponsored by a grant from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation. 

At the age of 23, Mars founded Chez François in 1987 along with Chef John D’Amico and his father, Frank Mars, a long time and successful Cleveland area restauranteur, in the Sail Loft - 1840 Building on the Vermilion River in Vermilion, Ohio. The location was previously home to the fine dining restaurants of L’Auberge du Port and L’Escale.

Chez François’ mission statement is “To create an upscale, unique and informative dining experience with value and without attitude. 100% of the time.”

Through their years of operation, their vision and values of providing “uncompromising quality food and service” has earned the restaurant national recognition such as the No. 1 Ranked Restaurant in Cleveland area in Zagat Guide 2013 -- “The crème de la crème when it comes to exceptional, beautifully-plated French food and a world-class wine list, this lakeside destination in Vermilion again takes the title of No. 1 for Food in the Cleveland area.  Patrons will delight in the quaint, romantic interior, beautiful outdoor patio on the canal and tight ship of staff who shows careful attention to detail.  Reviewers agree it’s the ultimate celebration place when looking to splurge and the specialty dinner throughout the year should not be missed.”

In 2005, Chez François added The Riverfront Café featuring outside casual dining with seating for 50, which has now been expanded to seating for 70. Power and Motor Yacht Magazine voted the Riverfront Café second best waterfront dining in America.

In 2007, Chez François expanded into the street-level former professional offices of the Sail Loft – 1840 creating Touché, a casual, but sophisticated martini, whiskey and wine bar, and The Parisian Room featuring casual fine dining as well as a space for special events and private dining.

Mars is a 1985 graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Hospitality Management and Restaurant & Institutional Management. Prior to starting Chez François, he worked in the American Café in Washington, D.C., and several well-known restaurants in the Cleveland area. In addition to being a political junky, his wife, Maria, live in Lakewood, he have an adult son, Christopher, and enjoy traveling in the wine countries.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

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