Chef Michael Solomonov was born in G'nei Yehuda, Israel and raised in Pittsburgh. At the age of 18, he returned to Israel with no Hebrew language skills, taking the only job he could get – working in a bakery – and his culinary career was born.
Solomonov is the 2011 James Beard Award winner for "Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic," a 2016 James Beard Award winner for "International Cooking" and "Book of the Year," along with business partner, Steve Cook for Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, 2017 James Beard Award winner for "Outstanding Chef", and 2019's James Beard Award winner, alongside Cook and the team at Zahav, for "Outstanding Restaurant".
Chef is a beloved champion of Israel's extraordinarily diverse and vibrant culinary landscape. Along with Zahav, Solomonov and Cook’s village of restaurants are Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, and Goldie. In July of 2019, Solomonov brought another major slice of Israeli food culture to Philadelphia with K'Far, an Israeli bakery & café. In November of 2019, Solomonov opened Merkaz, an Israeli pita sandwich shop, and in February of 2020 opened Laser Wolf, an Israeli skewer house.
Today, he can most often be found covered in flour, working the bread station at Zahav's open kitchen.
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