'Zahav' Is James Beard Best Cookbook of Year

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Chef Michael Solomonov. His Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia has proved a hit with Americans and Israelis.Credit: Neil Santos

“Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking,” by Israeli-born chef Michael Solomonov and his partner, Steven Cook, took top honors at the 2016 James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Tuesday night.

“Zahav” (Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) scored both the International and Book of the Year awards at the event, which was held at Chelsea Piers in New York.

Solomonov is the chef at Zahav, the flagship of Philadelphia-based restaurant group, CookNSolo, which also includes Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Federal Donuts and Percy Street Barbecue. Solomonov won the Beard award for Best Chef-Mid Atlantic in 2011.

The “Zahav” cookbook was produced by Saveur founding editor Dorothy Kalins, who also produced another 2016 Beard winner: Michael Anthony’s “V Is for Vegetable,” which took the Vegetable-Focused and Vegetarian prize. (Interestingly, Kalins’ husband is filmmaker Roger Sherman, whose new documentary, In Search of Israeli Cuisine , features Solomonov eating his way across that country.)

Solomonov wasn’t the only Israeli to be honored: London-based Yotam Ottolenghi (with co-author Ramael Scully) took the Cooking from a Professional Point of View prize for “NOPI: The Cookbook.” Eater editor and Forward contributor Helen Rosner won the Personal Essay award for “On Chicken Tenders,” which appeared on Guernica.

The 2016 Beard Awards Gala, where the restaurant and chef awards will be handed out, takes place at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 2. Solomonov has been nominated in the Outstanding Chef category.

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