Chef Sam Freund is not only a chef, but also a culinary artist deeply passionate about creating experiences for his guests that will leave pallets wanting more. Freund’s commitment to local purveyors, comes from his childhood roots of growing up in a small New Jersey farm town, where his family owned a restaurant. He spent many summers in the kitchen learning about hospitality, and how food has the power to bring people together, ultimately inspiring Freund to pursue a career in Culinary.
His career began in New York City at One Hudson Catering and Eleven Madison Park under Chef Kerry Hefferman, before achieving Executive Chef at One If By Land, Two If By Sea for 4 years. He decided to leave the east coast to explore new possibilities and hone his artisanal talents. Freund landed in Denver, and met Troy Guard, (of TAG), where he learned and expanded his talents to Asian Fusion and the local ingredients of the Pacific Northwest. Under Guard, he executed the opening of TAG Raw Bar and TAG Burger Bar, both receiving acclaim to be top restaurants in Denver. Freund has worked under critically acclaimed Chefs Gary Robins and Craig Hopson. His accolades include: Beer and Bacon Festival Winner (Denver); James Beard Outstanding Contribution Award (NY); Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Featured Guest Chef.
In 2013, Freund returned home to New Jersey where explored his creativity at The Café & Wine Bar in Long Valley, creating seasonal tapas menus and monthly wine dinners. He went on to open Slamwich Scratch Kitchen in Madison, NJ, a concept of what a real delicatessen should be where everything is homemade, from the cured pastrami to the house bread and pickles. Since inception, Slamwich has been named critic’s choice for lunch in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
October 2018, Freund open the doors to White Birch Restaurant in Flanders, NJ, returning to his 14 years of high-end experience. The menu, New American Fare with playful twists on classic cuisines, while focusing on local purveyors and seasonal market ingredients. Freund aims to bring a unique dining experience to the community and impact the culinary landscape of Northern New Jersey.