Rising Star Chef John Sundstrom of Lark - Biography

Seattle, WA

September 2019

Salt Lake City-born John Sundstrom apprenticed in a traditional Japanese restaurant for four years before graduating from the New England Culinary Institute in 1989. He then worked in the world of luxury hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Club XIX at the Lodge at Pebble Beach, and the Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley.

After a trip to Japan in 1999, Sundstrom staged his way across New York and San Francisco, cooking in the kitchens of Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Diane Forley, Gary Danko, and Traci Des Jardins. Back In Seattle, Sundstrom joined the team at Raison d'Être Café. In 1993, after stints at Cafe Sport Restaurant and Café Campagne, Sundstrom spent six years at Tom Douglas’ Dahlia Lounge, rising to executive chef. After opening vegetarian Carmelita, Sundstrom took the culinary lead at Earth & Ocean at the W Hotel Seattle, earning him a StarChefs Rising Star award.

In 2003 Sundstrom opened Lark, and in 2007, won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef, Northwest.” At Lark, Sundstrom combines Japanese, Latin, and European influences with product from the region’s best artisans, farmers, and foragers. In 2012, he released Lark: Cooking Against the Grain, and two years later, Lark moved to the Central Agency Building, where Sundstrom also opened Bitter/Raw and Slab Sandwich & Pie, followed by wood fired pizza shop Southpaw in 2018.