Michael Solomonov

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Michael Solomonov
Born 1978 (age 39–40)
Savyon, Israel
Education Florida Culinary Institute
Home town Philadelphia, PA
Culinary career
Cooking style Jewish
Website http://www.cooknsolo.com/

Michael Solomonov (born 1978) is an Israeli chef and restaurateur known for his landmark Philadelphia restaurant, Zahav. He won the James Beard Foundation awards for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic in 2011, Cookbook of the Year in 2016, and Outstanding Chef in 2017.[1][2]


Solomonov began cooking Italian cuisine at Vetri in Philadelphia. In 2003, his brother David, was killed on Yom Kippur during a military campaign which he volunteered for. Solomonov decided to change his focus to Israeli and Jewish cuisine. After meeting with financier Steven Cook, they opened Zahav in 2008. During this time Solomonov had a hidden addiction to heroin, cocaine, and other substances.[3]

With his business partner Steven Cook, Solomonov is co-owner of several Philadelphia restaurants: Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Percy Street Barbecue, and Federal Donuts, a fried chicken & donut chain. Having participated in the South Beach Food & Wine Festival in 2013, Solomonov was able to bring Percy Street Barbecue to South Florida. With the assistance of Florida International University Lead Culinary Teaching Assistant and Masters student Marcos Oliveira, Solomonov won Culinary Honors at Bubble Q, the honorary kick-off event for the festival. Said Solomonov, "I couldn't have pulled this event off without Marcos' help. He is hardworking, dedicated and a fking genius. He can work in my kitchen any day." [4] Bill Addison, writing for Eater Philadelphia, called Chef Solomonov "the Genius of Modern Jewish Cooking" after eating at Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, and Zahav.[5]

Solomonov also spent a period of time working at David Magerman's, now closed, and Citron and Rose, a certified Kosher meat restaurant on the Main Line in Bala Cynwyd, PA.[6] While working there, he was considered a paid consultant. [7]

In 2015, Cook and Solomonov published a cookbook based on their restaurant Zahav. Zahav: A World of Israeli Cuisine was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award in the International cookbook category.[8]


  1. ^ Bruni, Frank (9 August 2014). "Grief, Smoke and Salvation". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  2. ^ Nathan, Joan (20 September 2011). "After a Killing, Michael Solomonov Turns to Israeli Food". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  3. ^ Thomas Haas (2014-08-10). "Michael Solomonov Reveals That He's a Recovering Crack Addict". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  4. ^ "CookNSolo Restaurants". Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  5. ^ Addison, Bill. "Why Philly's Mike Solomonov Is The Genius of Modern Jewish Cooking". Eater. Eater Philadelphia. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Welcome - Philadelphia Magazine". www.phillymag.com. 
  7. ^ "Welcome - Philadelphia Magazine". www.phillymag.com. 
  8. ^ "The 2016 James Beard Award Nominees". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 17 March 2016.