Philosophy

Dessert first, but not sugar. When used in moderation, sugar enhances flavor, provides `structural integrity, and satiates the appetite at the end of a meal. If you are looking for gargantuan, saccharinely sweet desserts, you will not find them here.

When used in abundance, sugar dulls flavor and helps manufacturers mask the use of low-quality ingredients. Our goal is to deliver larger than life flavor, use high quality local ingredients, celebrate the cultural abundance of America, and share our inner joy with you, our neighbors.

Our Founder

Our founder, Tanya Ponder, landed in New York seven years ago, and while she originally hails from the bucolic hills surrounding Arkansas' Buffalo National River, she has since cut her teeth in several of NYC’s finest restaurants including Daniel, Marea, Empellon and Jean-Georges. The Sundae Fundae menu reflects her preference for the contemporary American South, a sprinkling of French techniques, and a well-traveled international flair for flavor.

 

Initially, this may sound contradictory, but her childhood diet consisted of a mish-mash of Influences (Mexican, Tex-Mex, Cajun, Creole, southern comfort and California Cuisine). Her early adulthood included travel all over North & Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. Today she intuitively draws from all those experiences and bakes form the heart. She is just as comfortable with peanut butter as she is tahini; she is equally at ease with creme anglaise as she is with the now passé foams; and most importantly, she earnestly wants you to enjoy your food.

A Dash of Sentiment

Nearly all my childhood memories involve the kitchen: initially at my mom’s or my grandmothers’ knees, and eventually—daringly—on my own. From my dad’s mom, I learned how to make my first lemon meringue pie as well as how to stretch a dollar in the kitchen; my mom’s mom taught me the importance of French influence in cooking and that butter makes almost everything better. From my mom, I learned countless firsts, and when she tired of tripping over me in the kitchen, I went to the yard to make mud pies.

My favorite ‘toybox’ in the entire house was a collection of baking supplies from her grandmother, who had immigrated from Croatia. I experienced many failures in my early years: brick like biscuits at age 10 (a travesty for a southern girl!), soupy pastry cream at 11, and deflated cream puffs at 12. I also distinctly remember heading into the kitchen after Saturday morning cartoons to make the same cheese soup I witnessed on Rescue Rangers.

I did not have all the necessary equipment or ingredients, but I did not let that stop me…the substitutions of American cheese singles and a microwave lead to results that were nothing short of disastrous! Happily, failure equals lessons learned and not a reason to quit.

Today, it’s safe to say that both my baking skills and inspirational sources have improved dramatically (well…maybe not the inspiration, I still love my cartoons and slapstick humor >.<)! However, after seven years of learning from some of the city’s finest chefs, my goal is to combine my newfound skill set with a hearty sense of humor and a bit of awe over the abundance of creativity this world is constantly churning (pun intended!).

Sundae Fundae

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