Eric SauberExecutive Chef | Market Café Park Place
After a decade of working in many facets of food service—from independent restaurants and private clubs to running his own catering business—Eric Sauber brings a breadth of experience to the position of executive chef at Market Café at Park Place, Orange County’s leading corporate headquarters. Here, he reimagines modern workday cuisine by offering specialty grab-n-go breakfast, lunch, and snacks, as well as office catering, all prepared with heed to seasonality. Sauber consistently provides guests with gourmet meals, whether a classic burger or a hearty ramen, comfort foods and healthy dishes that add to the relaxing environment for people to escape to during a busy workday. “Our guests are working hard all morning in the upstairs offices, so we’re happy to provide them with a good meal and an experience where they can feel refreshed before heading back to work,” says the chef, who joined the Patina Restaurant Group establishment in June 2014.
One way Sauber ensures this peaceful workday dining experience for guests is by guiding his kitchen staff to work collectively as a team, with him as team captain and leading by example. He uses his experience working at levels of perfection in fine-dining kitchens to cooking efficiently and effectively in catering kitchens to facilitate success of the quick-service restaurant. “I make sure to be present at every station, listening to my staff’s ideas, and then helping them execute those ideas,” Sauber explains. “That’s part of why we’re able to serve great food and be proud of every dish, whether it goes into a to-go box or is served on a plate.”
The remaining element of Sauber’s guarantee of quality food can be attributed to the Live Well Program. Sauber and his kitchen staff are all dedicated to natural cooking, therefore avoiding processed ingredients and paying special attention to everything that goes into each dish. Market Café at Park Place also provides patrons with Live Well menus that offer local, sustainable and healthy options made in-house with fresh and healthy ingredients in all areas of the café.
Born and raised in Dallas, Sauber parted from his hometown in 2005 for an opportunity to work on the line at the celebrated 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, VA. He then moved to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 2007. The following year, he and his wife, a pastry chef, moved to Napa, CA, and Sauber worked at Michelin-star restaurant Auberge Du Soleil. The chef couple also ran a catering company called Two Fish Culinary for three years, preparing multicourse private dinners and high-nutrient meals for clients with critical illnesses. From 2010 to 2013, Sauber served as executive sous chef at Newport Beach’s Pacific Club. Prior to joining Market Café in June 2014, he worked as sous chef at Crème de la Crème Catering based out of Costa Mesa, regularly executing large-scale dining events for up to 12,000 people per week.
Outside of his restaurant work, Sauber enjoys surfing, golfing, and practicing Kung Fu. He currently lives in Newport Beach, CA, with his family.