Founder / Chef
As a kid, Virginia-born, North Carolina-raised Aaron Steingold often went on family trips to his parents’ native New York City. There, he developed a passion for the classic delis of the Lower Eastside. Many years later, when he moved to Chicago and couldn’t find the food that held a sacred place in his childhood memories, he took matters into his own hands and created Chicago’s Steingold’s Delicatessen, which keeps a firm foot in the timeless traditions while bringing the Jewish deli to a more modern and relevant place.
But before Steingold opened his dream deli, he acquired plenty of hands-on restaurant and culinary experience. At 15, he started first in the back of the house—initially as a dishwasher before moving on to prep cook and then line cook—before moving to the front of the house as a server, bartender, sommelier and finally as a general manager. His resume includes notable Charleston, South Carolina, restaurants Peninsula Grill, Magnolia and Kiawah Island’s Ocean Room.
Looking to work at one of the world’s best restaurants, Steingold moved to Chicago in 2007 to become a server at Charlie Trotter’s, where the level of service that puts the guests’ needs above all else was in line with his own. In 2008, Steingold headed over to celeb chef Art Smith’s Table 52, where he eventually became general manager.
In August 2017, Steingold along with his wife, Elizabeth Abowd, opened his eponymous restaurant in Irving Park, where the bagels are boiled and baked daily with a dough that’s fermented overnight, the lox is house-cured and the Sister-In-Law sandwich comes topped with dill kimchi because that’s how he rolls. In 2019, this rebellious deli expanded with a second location in the West Loop’s Fulton Galley.