Culinary & Pastry Arts, Faculty
Martin Brunner CHE, CEPC
Professor, Program Coordinator Baking and Pastry Arts
Martin Brunner brings old world and local experience to his position in the Sandhills Community College program, where he has been teaching since 2003. Growing up living over the family bakery business in Hartberg, Austria, he became the fifth generation of family bakers, and trained under an Austrian Master Baker.‚ In 1991, his family relocated the bakery to the U.S.
His first degree was from SCC, an associates degree in Business Administration in 1997. He also earned as associates degree in Bakery & Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, S.C. in 2000. In 2010 Brunner received his bachelors degree magna cum laude in Business Administration from UNCP in Pembroke, N.C. and became a Certified Executive Pastry Chef through the American Culinary Federation (ACF). He has taken advantage of continuing education classes and trained with Swiss and French Chefs to learn sugar artistry and French pastries.
He is the executive pastry chef and owner of The Bakehouse in Aberdeen, N.C., by taking over the family business in 2003. The year 2008 marked 60 years for his family being in the bakery business. Brunner has also served as lead pastry cook at the Pinehurst Hotel, head baker at the Rococo Bakery in Charleston, S.C., and a pastry cook at Max and Moritz Bakery in Abdereen, N.C.‚
The awards earned by Brunner include Baking and Pastry Awards from Johnson and Wales University in 2000 and a bronze medal in the Bread Showpiece category in the ACF competition in Raleigh, N.C. in 2010.‚
Chris Currier CHE, CEC, ICE, CIC
Chris Currier came to Sandhills Community College in 1999 with a strong education and outstanding work experience, starting with earning an associates degree in 1983 in Occupational Studies Culinary Arts at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.
At the American Culinary Federation, he earned Certified Executive Chef status in 1998. In 2001, Currier became a Certified Hospitality Educator through the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Currier has won numerous awards including the Best in Show medal in 1993, 1994 and 1998 at the North Carolina Culinary Salon in Charlotte, N.C. He earned first and second places in the North Carolina Taste of Elegance (1994, 1995) and the gold medal and grand prize as Best of Show in the Virginia Tide Waters Chefs Association Culinary Salon (1995).
He was named Chef of the Year in 1994 for Sandhills/Cross Creek Chefs Association. He competed in the 1995 National Taste of Elegance in Chicago and earned a silver medal at the 1996 International Culinary Olympics in Berlin, Germany.
Curriers experience includes serving as executive chef (1991-2003) at the Pine Needles Resort Golf Resort from 1991-2003. Other chef experience has been at the Stouffer’s Valley Forge Hotel restaurant (Valley Forge, Pa.), Neils Off Premise Catering (Long Island, N.C.), The Newton Squire Inn (Newtown Square, Pa.), The Cellar Door Corporation (Wayne, Pa.), The University Club of Albany (Albany, N.Y.), Whiteland and Strafford Pubs Inc. (Main Line, Pa.)
Currier is the owner of CRC Iceworks, an ice carving company. The National Ice Carving Association certified him as an Ice Carver/Ice Carving Educator in 2010.
Fiona McKenzie CCE, CCC, CHE, FMP
Professor, Program Coordinator Culinary Arts
Department Chair Culinary and Pastry Arts.
(910) 246 4115
Originally from Australia, Fiona McKenzie worked and traveled throughout her native land as well as Europe and the United States before coming to study at Sandhills Community College. Her international industry experience started in 1988 and included positions at various hotels and restaurants in Australia; at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colo. a five-star five-diamond hotel; and at a 400-year old pub in the Lakes District in England.
McKenzie earned her associates degree in Culinary Arts from SCC in 2002, graduating summa cum laude. Through the American Culinary Federation, she earned Certified Chef De Cuisine certification in 2008 and Certified Culinary Educator certification in 2009. She has Certified Hospitality Educator certification through the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute and earned Certified Food Management Professional status through the National Restaurant Association.
In American Culinary Federation competitions in 2011 and 2012, she won seven gold and one silver medals including best of show in two categories.
McKenzie became a faculty member at SCC in 2007.
Erin Ducker, CHE
In 2005 Erin Ducker earned her Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from St. Andrews Presbyterian College. She worked in arts administration for a local nonprofit group in Davidson North Carolina until discovering her love of food. In 2008 she returned to school to earn her Associates degree in Baking and Pastry Arts here at Sandhills Community College. In 2012 she joined the faculty at SCC and in 2013 became a Certified Hospitality Educator through the American Hotel and Lodging Institute.
Erin is originally from New Orleans and has lived in Italy where she had the unique opportunity to live and work on a vineyard while traveling Europe in her spare time. Teaching is a wonderfully fulfilling way to share her love of food and ignite the same passion in her students. Erin has been working in the restaurant industry since the age of 17.
Todd Richter CEPC
Baking & Pastry Arts Instructor
Todd Richter began his adventure in Culinary Arts when he graduated in 1989 from the Culinary School of Kendall College in Evanston Illinois with an A.A.S. degree in Culinary Arts. Having found his passion in pastries, he moved on to a two year apprenticeship in Nashville Tennessee at the Opryland Hotel, a 2,000 room property, as a pastry cook.
Completing a three year pastry apprenticeship in cooperation with the American Culinary Federation at the Mobil Five Star/Five Diamond Cloister on Sea Island, Georgia, Todd was offered a full time position there where he worked for the next eight years. His talents and skills at the Cloister were recognized as he won scholarships to pastry classes and was nominated for Chef of the Year.
In 1999, he accepted a position at the Pinehurst Resort as the Executive Pastry Chef just in time for the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Open Championships. During his tenure, Todd has earned numerous awards such as 3 ACF Bronze medals, 5 ACF Silver medals and 2 ACF Gold/Best in Show medals.
Todd comes to Prestonwood Country Club from his most recent position as Executive Pastry Chef at the Forbes Five Star/Five Diamond Sanctuary at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Among his career highlights he most cherished the recent opportunity of cooking at the James Beard House in New York City and the Forbes Five Star Summit which was held at his home venue, the Sanctuary. Todd was awarded ACF/North Carolina Pastry Chef of the Year for 2013.
Chef Deborah Davies
Chef Davies holds an Associate in Applied Science Culinary Arts degree from Sandhills Community College. Locally she has worked at Forest Creek Golf Resort and, for the past 2 ½ years, for Chef Mark Elliott in Garde Manger, production team and catering operations.
An EXTREMELY proud Marylander, Chef Davies earned an Associate of Science degree in Nursing from Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, NC. She then went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UNC Pembroke.After twenty years of working as a registered nurse, she went back to school to become a culinarian.
Chef Davies lives with her husband, Keith, a dog and a cat in Whispering Pines. She has 3 adult children and 8 grandchildren. She is also a NASCAR superfan.
Chef Angela Webb
When it comes to food, Angela Webb’s philosophy is quite simple.
“Food is essential for life, but good food, prepared well is essential for good living.”
A long story…very short
In 2006, after many years in corporate sales and marketing for companies such as Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Showtime and Prudential Securities, Angela enrolled at the French Culinary Institute (now, the International Culinary Center). After graduation, she honed her skills at Michelin and Zagat rated restaurants in both New York and Florida. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked with high-end caterers, A Taste of Pace and Lucques Catering. Through her own company Angela’s Table, she provided her client with personal chef services and private event catering. In 2010, she expanded her business to include wine sales and consulting by offering wine tasting and food and wine pairing seminars. Angela received her degree in history from Florida Gulf Coast University. She is a member of Phi Alpha Theta Historians’ Honor Society and a board member of Slow Food Charleston.
Chef Monica Midgette
Chef Monica Midgette is a retired Air Force Colonel with a Bachelor’s degree in TV and Radio Broadcasting from UNC Pembroke. She has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Florida Technical Institute, and a Master’s degree in Strategic Military Studies from the Air Force War College. Over the years, the military took her to many exotic and thrilling places throughout the world, but her mother’s cooking is responsible for planting the seed that grew into her passion for food and baking. Not quite ready to retire, Monica traded her combat boots for a chef’s coat when she enrolled in the Sandhills Community College Pastry Arts program where she graduated in May 2017. She currently works at a local restaurant making desserts and cooking for catering jobs.
Chef Giorgia Rivera
Chef Rivera was born and raised In Vicenza Italy where she grew up working in her family restaurant until she moved to the US in 2003. Once in the US she began to pursuit a career in culinary arts. In 2015 he decided to enroll in school and picked Sandhills Community College as her home. She graduated in Culinary Arts with honors in May of 2018 and continues to study for her second degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. Giorgia is the current Chef at The Bakehouse where she loves to express her passion for cooking. She enjoys travelling in the USA and around the world, learning about unique food from different areas and cultures. Giorgia uses her knowledge and passion of cooking to teach others.