Meet Chef Samuel De Los Santos

Meet Chef Samuel De Los Santos

Eataly Magazine is pleased to introduce you to Samuel De Los Santos, a sous chef at Eataly Chicago.

At Eataly, we are proud to work with world-class chefs, who transform simple, high-quality ingredients into the delicious dishes in our restaurants. We want you to get to know the people behind the food, so we are presenting them via our series “Meet the Chef.”

When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I found myself in the kitchen at an early age, inspired by my mother and the women in my family, who are all great home cooks.  I have always been drawn to the nurturing aspect of cooking and feeding others.

Did you train at an institute?
Yes, I attended culinary school at a community college in Modesto, California.

Tell us about your past professional experience.
After graduating culinary school, I moved to Las Vegas, where I worked at Postrio Restaurant, inside the Venetian Hotel. It was a great place to learn the basic fundamentals of cooking while handling the high volume. After an extremely long 14 months, I moved to Chicago in search of something special. In 2007, I landed a position at Spiaggia Restaurant, working under Tony Mantuano and Sarah Grueneberg. I remember doing my stage there and being blown away by dishes like guinea hen with white truffles and agnolotti with crispy veal breast. Spiaggia is where I grew up and where I grew to love Italian food and culture. Spiaggia taught me that the most important ingredient in Italian cuisine is the one you leave out. I was a sous chef there for five years. After doing some traveling around Italy, I helped open Cocello Restaurant in Chicago as sous chef. The Hogsalt Group has exceptional restaurants, and, most importantly, they have built a unique culture for themselves.

I have been with the Eataly team since October 2014.

What is your specialty Italian dish?
Bucatini all’Amatriciana. (Named for the town Amatrice in Lazio, this regional dish consists of long hollow pasta paired with a flavorful sauce of guanciale, pecorino cheese, and tomatoes.)

What ingredients are you craving the most right now?
Nantucket Bay scallops and white truffles — for obvious reasons.

Do you have any quirks that your team teases you about?
I’m usually the one doing the teasing.

If you weren’t a chef, what profession would you have?
I want to be a professional fisherman with Rob Wing (Executive Chef of Eataly Chicago), but the fishing trips could only last a maximum of two hours.

Tell us a behind-the-counter secret about Eataly!
Check out our website: we are always doing something exciting!

pasta baffo

Piacere di conoscerti, Chef Sam: nice to meet you!