Piada Spotlight | Sarah Zollinger
Meet Chef Sarah Zollinger! She’s the Partner at our newest restaurant, Piada East Liberty in Pittsburgh, PA. She’s a diehard Penguins fan, seasoned Chef and creative crafter. A decade’s worth of culinary acumen ensures her kitchen runs smoothly, and serves up the craveable meals and experiences her Guests love.
Sarah’s been with Piada since December of 2019. She comes from a background of culinary education and fine-dining. Although she’s a life-long Pittsburgher, she spent some time out-of-state to receive her education and jumpstart her career.
“When I was a kid, I’d always be helping my grandmothers in their kitchen. Then I went to culinary school in San Diego and realized I knew nothing about cooking! I I earned my Culinary Arts Associates degree and my Bachelors in Culinary Management.”
Sarah is a leader and a team-player. She loves meeting new people and helping them to achieve their career goals.
“I like to mentor the more inexperienced Team Members, teach them and help them. I’m a hands-on leader. I stand side-by-side with them showing them how to do something. I adapt to my Team’s different personalities and coach them so they have the knowledge and power to be successful.”
Another element that makes Sarah such a great leader is that she’s an observer. Whether she’s surveying the walk-in, observing the line, or checking-in on her team, she does her best to see it all.
“I spend the first fifteen minutes of every shift just walking around. I check behind the line, in the dining room, in the walk-in, in the office... I triple check everything, regardless of whether I’m opening or closing.”
Piada East Liberty, our newest location and very first pay-first model, is a unique opportunity for Chef Sarah. She’s excited to build and empower a brand new team. What drives Sarah as a leader is her impact. She knows that she’s uniquely positioned to support her Team and help them achieve their goals.
“You meet a lot of people that want to change and better their lives in this industry. When you have a loyal Team that knows you respect them, they’re empowered to happily assist every Guest that walks through the door. People say the Chef hides in the kitchen, but you’re there to feed people and make them happy. Guests lean on you to help, so we take care of them from start to finish and make sure they leave with a smile on their face.”
Outside of the restaurant, Sarah is a music-lover, craft hobbyist and cat mom. On her day off, you’ll either find her crafting alongside her beloved chocolate Himalayan cat Eloise, or at a concert.
“For one, I’m a huge Pittsburgh Penguins hockey fan and love going to and watching the games. I also love to create junk journals and fill them with random stuff like plane tickets, memories and photos. It’s like scrapbooking, but way better. I also love live music. I’ve seen Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac at least 5 times.”
We’re so lucky to have Chef Sarah on our Team. She’s a great leader with amazing energy. As she continues to grow and learn, we know she’s destined for great things because of her life motto:
“Life makes you bolder!”
If you’re looking for a career with huge growth potential, head to careers.mypiada.com.