Meet Our Team at Zinda
Along with our head chef, A.J. Faung, the Zinda team is comprised of a passionate, hard-working staff of managers, events coordinators and other personnel committed to excellence in service and cuisine.
Read on to learn more about our team members:
Dutch is originally from Plymouth, MI, where he grew up with two brothers and two sisters. Since moving to Raleigh, NC just a short three years ago, he has finally found his home with Eschelon Hospitality. Dutch’s favorite thing about Zinda is the staff — “They are very structured,” he says. When he is not working, you can probably catch him kicking a ball and reminiscing about the days he played collegiate soccer.
Brandon is from Pink Hill, a small town in Eastern North Carolina, and has been in Raleigh since 2005. He has been a part of the Eschelon family for years, getting his start at The Oxford. Transitioning to Zinda in a management role has been quite successful for Brandon. He says that “The energy that you feel as you walk in the door is unlike anything else in Downtown Raleigh.” Brandon is no stranger to the restaurant scene in Downtown Raleigh, which is why many of the regulars at Zinda have been regulars of Brandon’s for many years. If he’s not on a disc golf course, playing with his American Staffordshire Terrier, Titus, or reading the latest sci-fi novel, he’s catching up on the latest trends and methods for creating your favorite drink.
Born and raised here in Raleigh, Meghan attended grade school and high school in downtown before becoming a Seahawk at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. With a passion for foreign languages and travel, she spent eight months in Northern France learning the language and culture shortly after graduating. After returning, she found her home in the hospitality industry in Raleigh again. When she’s not working, Meghan loves traveling and exploring new places. Whether it’s a trip overseas or outside Raleigh, adventures are everywhere. She’s excited to join Zinda and Eschelon to help them grow and become an even stronger and more creative team.
Lauren hails from The Oak City — third generation actually, though she was really born and raised in Cary, about 20 minutes away. Lauren loves anything in the great outdoors, but especially going for a run and playing with her pups, Oliver and Duke. Occasionally, when in the mountains, you’ll find a snowboard strapped to her feet, as well as a surfboard when she heads to the beach. If Lauren is staying in, you can expect great things coming from the kitchen… and the bar! Food, wine and Pinterest are her guilty pleasures.
Since becoming the VIP Coordinator at Zinda, Lauren feels like she is on the right path professionally. Zinda stole her heart while still under construction in May 2012, and as we continue to grow, she is following suit.