A 2011 James Beard Award winner for “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic” and a 2016 James Beard Award winner for “Best International Cookbook” and “Book of the Year” for his and business partner/co-author Steven Cook’s first cookbook, Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015), Chef Michael Solomonov is the executive chef/co-owner at Zahav and widely regarded as one of the country’s top chefs.
In addition to his duties at Zahav, Chef Solomonov is a partner in Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, and Abe Fisher – all in Philadelphia – as well as the newly opened Dizengoff NYC inside Chelsea Market. In 2015, Eater restaurant editor/critic, Bill Addison, named Chef Solomonov the “Genius of Modern Jewish Cooking” and in 2014, asserted that “Zahav defines Israeli cuisine in America” as part of two excellent reviews. Also in 2014, Zahav was named to the “The National Eater 38″ and was voted Eater’s “Chef of the Year”. Both Abe Fisher and Dizengoff were featured as two of Travel + Leisure’s “50 Best New Restaurants, 2014”. Craig LaBan at the Philadelphia Inquirer rated both Abe Fisher and Dizengoff “Three Bells” in his review, and Zahav holds a coveted “Four Bells”. In August of 2016, Ligaya Mishan awarded Dizengoff NYC inside Chelsea Market a NYT Critics’ Pick in her “Hungry City” column for The New York Times. Chef Solomonov was also the subject of a New York Times feature in 2011 that explored the genesis and continued success of Zahav, which praised his “simple food with layers of flavor.”
Before opening Zahav, Chef Solomonov was the executive chef at Marigold Kitchen which he and Cook co-owned until 2009, and worked under such top chefs as Marc Vetri and Terence Feury. Born in Israel and raised in Pittsburgh, Solomonov frequently travels back to Israel.