Chef Brian Sundeen was named Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in February of 2015, announced General Manager Bruce Brainerd. In his position, Sundeen oversaw all culinary operations for the 396-room oceanfront resort and manage a staff of more than 80 ladies and gentlemen.
“I am honored to have Chef Sundeen as part of my senior leadership team at the resort,” said Brainerd. “With his broad culinary background, he brings creativity and a fresh perspective and to his new role. He is a natural leader and is extremely passionate about his craft. I am confident that he will continue to create success for the resort by taking our culinary offerings to the next level,” he added.
Chef Sundeen developed his passion for cooking as a teenager when his mother required that he, his brother and his father each cook dinner once a week. “My father was an avid hunter so I had the opportunity at an early age to work with a variety of different proteins,” said Sundeen. “I loved trying new cooking methods and incorporating whatever produce was in season. My grandmother had a farm so I always had fresh fruits and vegetables available,” he added.
A southern California native, Chef Sundeen is known for his signature pastries and desserts, as well as the annual Gingerbread display that he designs and creates for the holiday season. He has a passion for using fresh, local ingredients and sustainable products, which will be visible in the resort’s multiple restaurant experiences, including the award-winning Raya, 180blu, enoSTEAK, The Market Place, and In-Room Dining.
Sundeen joined The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in 2010 as Executive Pastry Chef and was promoted to Executive Sous Chef in 2014. A graduate of the world-renowned French Pastry School in Chicago, he started his culinary career at The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena where he held several positions including Executive Pastry Chef. He has been part of the opening teams of the Peninsula in Chicago and was also the opening Executive Pastry Chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow where he successfully lead the team for more than two years before moving back to the U.S. with his family and assuming the position of Executive Pastry Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Plantation.
When not in the kitchen, Chef Sundeen enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.