Israeli-American restaurateur’s ‘Zahav’ named James Beard book of the year

Julie Wiener

NEW YORK (JTA) — A book about Israeli cuisine won book of the year at the prestigious James Beard Awards for food writing.

Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook’s “Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking” won Book of the Year and was also named best book in the international category at the James Beard Foundation‘s  2016 Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Tuesday night in New York.

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In addition, “NOPI: The Cookbook,” which is co-authored by Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi, won in the Cooking from a Professional Point of View category.

Solomonov, an Israeli American, and Cook run the popular, award-winning Israeli restaurant Zahav (Hebrew for gold) in Philadelphia, which opened in 2008.

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“Zahav” is part-cookbook and part-memoir.

Solomonov also operates several other restaurants in Philadelphia, including a hummus spot called Dizengoff that is named for a major Tel Aviv thoroughfare. According to, Dizengoff is about to open a New York branch in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market.

Solomonov was the 2011 James Beard Award winner for best chef, Mid-Atlantic.

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