Robert Levitt
Acclaimed chef and butcher Rob Levitt first got his feet wet in the culinary world working as a dishwasher while pursuing a degree in Jazz Performance at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Sparked by his new passion for the restaurant industry, Levitt continued to cultivate his skills at the Culinary Institute of America before landing at the Park Avenue Café in Manhattan. With a desire to move back to the Midwest, Rob relocated to Chicago and worked his way through some of the city’s most popular restaurants including modern Spanish taps spot, del Toro, Michelin-starred North Pond and acclaimed Italian eatery 312 Chicago before opening his first restaurant mado, with his wife Allison in 2008. After three years of critical acclaim, the duo took the next step and opened The Butcher & Larder, Chicago’s first local, sustainable, whole animal butcher shop, which has been recognized for excellence in its craft by Food & Wine, GQ, The Travel Channel, The Food Network, The Good Food Awards and more. In 2015, Levitt joined Chicago-based Local Foods, to share knowledge and further expand The Butcher & Larder’s offerings with café, retail and wholesale distribution opportunities. After nearly 20 years mastering his skill and with nine years of butcher experience under his belt, Levitt eventually caught the attention of James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Kahan, landing the coveted role of head butcher and chef of One Off Hospitality’s beloved Publican Quality Meats. Expanding upon Kahan’s signature "snout to tail” approach to butchery, Levitt captains the culinary program at PQM, creating a seasonal menu featuring rustic soups, gourmet salads, and sandwiches, while mastering an array of natural and organic meat products, house-made sausages and more at Chicago’s critically acclaimed butcher shop, neighborhood café, bakery and gourmet market.