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Philly Takes Top Honors at the James Beard Awards

The best chef and the best restaurateur in the country are in Philadelphia

james beard Official

Philly won big at a food event last night, and there wasn’t a cheesesteak in sight. The annual James Beard Foundation Awards honor the best of the best in the American hospitality industry.

Michael Solomonov of Zahav took home the Outstanding Chef award. This is far from the first time Solomonov has made national news recently: He and restaurant partner Steve Cook opened Goldie in Philly, announced a new Dizengoff in Miami, and earned a spot on GQ’s list of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America for Rooster Soup Co.

Solomonov and Cook also own Federal Donuts and Abe Fisher. The pair previously scored a James Beard win for their cookbook, Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking. Solomonov has also won in the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category, in 2011.

This year, the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic honor went to Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink. The award covers Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Along with Solomonov and Venick, another well-known Philly name was honored last night — and he got to take home two awards.

Stephen Starr was named Outstanding Restaurateur. Starr’s restaurant group includes Buddakan, Barclay Prime, Jones, Parc, and Butcher & Singer, among others — and that’s just in Philly. Starr was well overdue to win: Despite earning a spot in the James Beard semifinals and/or finals every year since 2008, this is his first Outstanding Restaurateur award.

He also received the Best New Restaurant award for his New York City eatery Le Coucou.

See the full list of winners here.

Vernick Food & Drink

2031 Walnut Street, , PA 19103 (267) 639-6644 Visit Website


237 Saint James Place, , PA 19106 (215) 625-8800 Visit Website