Philadelphia’s dominance of the food world continues. Zahav, the city’s seminal Israeli dining spot, on Monday night won the title of outstanding restaurant at the 2019 James Beard Foundation awards in Chicago.
The other major winners of the night included Frenchette in New York, which won the Best New Restaurant award, and Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner in Raleigh, N.C., who was named America’s outstanding chef. Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of the Boka Restaurant Group empire in Chicago were named outstanding restaurateurs. “We have to figure out which of our restaurants can withstand a party until 6 a.m.,” crowed Boehm to the hometown crowd.
Zahav was a front-runner for this year’s title. Co-owner Michael Solomonov in 2017 won outstanding chef, and the restaurant’s pastry chef Camille Cogswell won rising star last year.
Chicago establishments in general fared well at this year’s event. The title of best baker went to Greg Wade at Publican Quality Bread, and Pacific Standard Time received an award for outstanding design. The city has hosted the awards since 2015 and is expected to do so through 2027.
Despite relentless buzz in the food world, Los Angeles was shut out of the major categories. Michael Cimarusti of Providence in that city, named best chef in the West, was the sole winner.
More than 600 culinary professionals voted on the winners across 23 food, beverage and design categories.
Five Hawaii chefs were named semifinalists in February but were shut out in the finals.
The Hawaii semifinalists for national awards were:
>> Maui chef Sheldon Simeon’s new restaurant, Lineage, for best new restaurant.
>> Honolulu’s Ed Kenney — chef and owner of town, Mahina & Sun’s, Mud Hen Water and Kaimuki Superette — as best restaurateur.
>> Michelle Karr-Ueoka of MW Restaurant as best pastry chef.
Hawaii semifinalists for best chefs in the Western region were Chris Kajioka and Anthony Rush of Senia.