PULLMAN, Wash. — Renowned restaurateur and entrepreneur Larry Mindel
will present this spring’s Burtenshaw Distinguished Lecture for the
Washington State University Hotel and Restaurant Administration. His
speech, “A View from a Barstool,” is set for 7 p.m. April 7 in the Westin Hotel,
1900 5th Ave., Seattle.
“For more than three decades, Larry Mindel has achieved tremendous
successes in the hospitality industry, and we are thrilled that he is joining our
roster of outstanding Burtenshaw lecturers,” says W. Terry Umbreit, HRA
Mindel is the chairman of Il Fornaio (America) Corp. He was inducted into the
California Restaurant Association Hall of Fame in 1998, the same year he
received a Gold Plate Award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers
Association. Among his many other honors and awards, he was the first
American and first person of non-Italian descent to receive the Caterina de
Medici Medal from the Italian government, recognizing excellence in the
preservation of Italian heritage outside of Italy.
At Il Fornaio since 1987, Mindel is credited with having the vision and
providing the direction to expand the corporation by marrying the traditional
bakeries with authentic Italian restaurants. Today, Il Fornaio owns and
operates 21 “Cucina Italiana” (restaurants), all with adjoining “Panetterie”
(bakeries), and three “Panifici” (wholesale bakeries). The company is
expanding beyond its West Coast base, and Mindel heads site selection as
well as architecture and design.
Prior to joining Il Fornaio, Mindel was president of Saga Corp.’s restaurant
group with its more than 200 restaurants and $350 million annual revenues. He
joined Saga through its merger in 1984 with Spectrum Foods, a company he
founded in 1970. From 1964-70, Mindel was chairman, president and CEO of
Caswell Coffee Co. in San Francisco. He acquired Caswell at age 26 and
doubled its revenues every year for four consecutive years before selling it to
Superior Coffee in 1968.
The WSU HRA Burtenshaw Distinguished Lecture Series began in 1981 and is
sponsored by DeVere Jerry and Angelina Burtenshaw in memory of their son,
Calvin Brett. The Burtenshaws have for many years been strong supporters of
the WSU HRA program, and are committed to professional management
through education. Twice each year, the lecture series brings experts in the
hotel and restaurant fields to speak to audiences in Pullman or Seattle.
For more information, please contact Andrea Luoma at 509/335-9619 or