2021 Chicago Rising Star Baker Sam Zeitlin of Zeitlin's Delicatessen

2021 Chicago Rising Star Baker Sam Zeitlin of Zeitlin's Delicatessen

Zeitlin's Delicatessen
South Loop Farmers Market
Chicago, IL 60616



After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Maryland-raised Sam Zeitlin developed his cooking skills at restaurants across the East Coast, including Blue Duck Tavern and Masseria. Zeitlin left D.C. to spend a summer working on 8 Hands Farm on Long Island, where he was introduced to a completely symbiotic relationship with local grains and ingredients grown directly on the property. The experience inspired him to move deeper into the world of bread. He moved to Chicago in the summer of 2018 to continue his culinary education and searched for the comfort foods that once defined his childhood. After countless failed attempts to find true bagels, Zeitlin got to work on his own and perfected spins on classic Jewish baked goods from his apartment. He was also part of the opening team at Galit under Chef Zachary Engel and stayed for two years.

When the pandemic left him laid off, Zeitlin moved to Austin for a couple of months. He helped launch the Casper Fermentables’ bread program with owner Ben Hollander. When he returned to Chicago, Zeitlin was determined to start his own business. He shared his goods with culinary teams and local non-profit organizations throughout the city, and what started as a sourdough pop-up outside of Kimski swiftly became a full-blown remote deli at the South Loop Farmers Market in 2020. Zeitlin’s Delicatessen now has a second farmers market location and a brick-and-mortar in the works. With every culinary concept he creates, Zeitlin bridges the gap between traditional Jewish deli and Midwest seasonality while developing “future family recipes” to pass down to the next generation.