Philadelphia’s Restaurant Scene Sizzles In National Spotlight

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some call the James Beard Awards the Super Bowl of restaurants.

If that’s the case, Philadelphia was among the MVP’s during the event Monday night in Chicago.

Zahav in Society Hill was nominated for three awards. Israeli chef Michael Solomonov won one of them

“I’m honored to say I accept the James Beard Award on Israeli Independence Day,” he said.

This year’s Outstanding Chef was quick to credit his coworkers for his success:

“I’m surrounded by hardworking and dedicated people that make me laugh, cry and are supportive no matter how great or how terrible things are going, and this award is for them.”

Solomonov also showed his appreciation to Philadelphia:

“All of our guests, all of our purveyors and the people that have never been able to pronounce our restaurant properly, I am so grateful to bring this medal back home to you.”

We can thank Stephen Starr for Philadelphia favorites like Buddakan, Barclay Prime and El Vez to name a few.

“Finally I got this award,” he said. “I’ve been waiting a long time.”

He’s this year’s Outstanding Restaurateur:

“I feel like everyone else that wins something gets emotional but it really means a lot to me.”

He, too, took the time to thank everyone who makes his job easier:

“I thank the 5,000 employees that we have who everyday are proud to work for me and Starr Restaurants and I really wanted to win this for them.”

Best Mid-Atlantic chef went to Greg Vernick, who dices and mixes at Vernick Food & Drink in Center City.

“I couldn’t have dreamed up a better group of people to work next to every single day,” he said.

Vedge’s Rich Landau was also a finalist for that award.

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