Chef Sarah Gunderson

Chef Instructor, Culinary Arts

sarah gunderson
Location: Online Programs
Favorite Dish: Tamales

"We're not standing on a mountain top of success; we're standing on top of our failures - the reason it is a success is because we are standing on top instead of being buried beneath them."

Chef Sarah Gunderson


Chef Sarah has worked with 7-time nominated James Beard Chef Scott Crawford at Crawford & Son and Jolie Restaurant, both in Raleigh, NC. She currently owns and operates her own business, Sal’s of Southern Pines, crafting custom cakes as well as providing small event catering with hors d’oeuvres and one-of-a-kind display boards.

After graduating from culinary school, Chef Sarah started out at Pinehurst Resort, working her way to becoming the Sous Chef of the Carolina Dining Room. She spent five years at Pinehurst Resort developing regionally-crafted menus for each season before moving to 21C Museum Hotels in Durham, NC. There she was a Sous Chef focusing on banquets and catering, as well as assisting with staff training and menu development for the Counting House Restaurant.

Chef Sarah then switched gears to work at Piedmont Restaurant as the Pastry Chef, creating custom cakes, as well as crafting unique desserts for wine dinners and their locally-focused seasonal menus.

Utilizing local farmers in North Carolina is a driven focus of Chef Sarah’s cuisine.

Honors, Awards & Affiliations

  • ServSafe® Manager

Professional EXPERIENCE

  • Chef/Owner - Sal's of Southern Pines, Southern Pines, NC
  • Line Cook - Crawford & Son, Raleigh, NC
  • Line Cook - Jolie, Raleigh, NC
  • Chef - Thyme & Place Café, Southern Pines, NC
  • Pastry Chef - Piedmont Restaurant, Durham, NC
  • Sous Chef (Banquet/Restaurant) - Counting House at 21C Museum Hotel, Durham, NC
  • Sous Chef - Carolina Dinning Room at Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, NC

Dish Examples

Sweet Potatoes

Moving to North Carolina has really shown me why they are the U.S.' number 1 producer in sweet potatoes - this dish really highlights the beautiful produce grown in this state, and how delicious they are that they can stand alone.

sweet potatoes

Braised Short Rib

Growing up in Minnesota there were a lot of one-pot meals, such as pot roast. This is an iteration of my childhood transformed into a composed dish. It contains charred sunchokes and a multitude of root vegetables over a creamy sunchoke puree finished with fresh herbs and an olive tapenade.

Braised Short Ribs with herbs on white plate

Banana Pudding Cannoli

I love creating and transforming dishes. This takes two beloved treats and elevates them to a memorable dessert full of different textures and temperatures, featuring banana pudding in a cannoli shell with whipped ricotta and honey candied peanuts. Espresso semifreddo, banana cake, and fresh sliced bananas.

Banana Pudding Cannoli


  • Culinary Arts Certificate, Le Cordon Bleu, Minneapolis

Special Interests

Rock climbing, working out, photography, and testing recipes.

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