Deli Summit: The Renaissance

Exploring the Challenges and Thrills of the Modern Deli

Peter Levitt, Saul’s Restaurant and Deli, Berkeley
Noah Bernamoff, Mile End Deli, Brooklyn
Ken Gordon, Kenny & Zuke’s Deli, Portland
Evan Bloom, Wise Sons Deli SF pop-up

Moderator: Joan Nathan, Author of ten cookbooks including Jewish Cooking in America and Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times Food Arts Magazine and Tablet Magazine.


Original billing:
May 2011
JCC of the East Bay (just around the corner)
1414 Walnut Street
Berkeley, CA 94709

On the menu from Wise Sons:
House-baked Bialys and Smoked Fish, with chive cream cheese, red onion & capers. Sweet and sour pickles on the side

The beloved institution of Jewish delis continues to disappear.

But a few brave delis are breaking up canons of the dying model. Delis in this NY Times article by Julia Moskin: Can the Jewish Deli Be Reformed?

Saul’s Restaurant and Deli in Berkeley is convening these upstarts for a Deli Summit. Four very different models of renegade.

Saul’s owners Karen Adelman and Peter Levitt believe they and their colleagues will benefit from collaboration on a common language. In a culinary genre defined by rigid expectations (yet varied depending on customer), comparison and critique, these delis trailblazing the deli lexicon can gradually give each other points of reference and authority.

This is a restaurant concept being actively revived. What do these departures from the Deli Institution look like on the menu, the plate, in the dining room? What does it mean to thrive as a deli business? 

This is a follow-up to Saul’s Referendum on the Jewish Deli MenuNow with the other Delis, Saul’s will talk nuts and bolts of their industry.

It’s a behind the scenes, chefs-in-the-trenches conversation open to the public.

Some of the Press on Deli Summit

Jewish Telegraphic Agency A New Generation of Jewish Delis Embraces Sustainability
San Francisco Chronicle Organics, Hand-Crafted Meat Redefine Jewish Delis
San Francisco Chronicle People Meter Celebrating the Delicatessen Experience
Oakland Tribune Jewish “Deli Summit” in Berkeley debates the future of the giant sandwich
Seattle Weekly Deli Visionaries Rooting for Stopsky’s to Define Seattle Deli Culture
Bay Citizen Berkeley Deli Owners Convene Summit to Discuss the New Face of Jewish Food
Slate Pastrami: Discuss. Notes from the first-ever Deli Summit
Zester Daily Deli Summit: Fleshing out a narrative of decline, renaissance and pastrami at the deli summit in Berkeley, CA
JWeekly Maverick deli owners ride into Berkeley with a burr in their kreplach