Marc Vetri’s 9th Annual Great Chefs at Urban Outfitters

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More than 1,200 guests attended the 9th Annual Great Chefs Event on Tuesday, June 10th. The yearly eating party thrown by Philadelphia superchef Marc Vetri was held at Urban Outfitters in the Navy Yard, with proceeds going to help Alex’s Lemonade Stand eradicate childhood cancer, and to the Vetri Foundation for Children. Neuroblastoma took Alex Scott’s life when she was eight, and her parents, Jay and Liz Scott, carry on her goal of helping doctors find a cure for the disease.

The event attracts four dozen top chefs from the U.S. and Italy who created delicious dishes that people raved over all night long. The event featured a live auction that brought in $80,000 and a silent auction — which included clothing, lavish trips, sports tickets and experiences — that raised nearly $100,000.

Later that evening I headed over to Vetri’s restaurant on North Broad, Alla Spina, for the after-party. There I found many of the volunteer chefs, sponsors and ticketed guests enjoying a delicious spread by the Vetri Family, and friends including Sweet Box Bakery, Debragga meat, Nomad Pizza to name a few. Behind the turntables was The Roots’ Questlove, who appears at the after-party annually and packs the dance floor from start to finish. It’s always a highlight of the evening.

Marc Vetri’s 9th Annual Great Chefs at Urban Outfitters »

West Poplar Federal Donuts Has Softly Opened

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The latest location of Federal Donuts is now open at the corner of 7th and Fairmount in the West Poplar neighborhood. It is the biggest Federal Donuts yet, complete with 40-seats, a parking lot and a walk-in refrigerator roughly the same size as the Pennsport original. Business was steady when I checked it out this morning. I was able to try several of the new flavor donuts including a lemon sugar hot donut, chocolate glazed (yes, FedNuts now has chocolate donuts) and a new Thai curry dry-dusted fried chicken.

I was also lucky enough to try the fried chicken donut sandwich that Federal Donuts will be preparing on Saturday, June 7th for their grand opening.

Behold the Federal Donuts fried chicken donut sandwich »

Michael Solomonov Takes Over Saveur’s Instagram

saveur-stock-solomonovMuch like when Jose Garces took over Saveur Magazine’s Instagram account for the day, Michael Solomonov is sharing a day in his food life. Solomonov has already made it back from Margate and over to Fishtown where he’s testing out the pho at the soon to be opening Stock.

Maybe we’ll get a preview of Solomonov’s forthcoming Abe Fisher and Dizengoff as well.

Saveur Magazine [Instagram]

Newest and Biggest Federal Donuts Sets Opening Date

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On Saturday, June 7th, Federal Donuts opens its largest store yet at 701 N 7th Street. Partners Tom Henneman, Bob Logue, Steve Cook, Michael Solomonov and Felicia D’Ambrosio have declared the day Federal Donuts Day and will be offering several specials for the grand opening. There will be Hot Donut Ice Cream Bombs in collaboration with Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Fried Chicken Donut Sandwiches ($6 including tax) from noon to 4 p.m.

The West Poplar location of Federal Donuts is 2,000 square feet, substantially larger than the other stand-alone FedNuts, seats 40 and even has a parking lot.

Federal Donuts – West Poplar [Foobooz]

Read This Now: Israeli Cuisine In The Spotlight

Photo courtesy Collin Keefe, TheDrinkNation.com

Photo courtesy Collin Keefe, TheDrinkNation.com

So the good folks over at Food Republic had an interesting idea: 5 editors, 5 world cuisines, 5 days, with each day’s focus being stories about (or inspired by) a single cuisine about which the editors wanted to learn more.

Yesterday, it was Japanese food. Today, it’s Israeli, with a bunch of stories all being done by Matt Rodbard. And one of those stories happens to be all (well, half) about Michael Solomonov, Zahav, and Solo’s two upcoming restaurants–which, of course, is why I noticed it in the first place.

Not just that Solomonov got a mention. It’s not like I’m stalking the guy or anything. But being a non-Philly writer writing about things Philadelphian, Rodbard got taken to task for a (slightly) clumsy line he included which some readers took as a slight against Philadelphia. It wasn’t, actually, but it did ruffle enough feathers that I–as the man who once went all kinds of apeshit over Matt Duckor characterizing Philadelphians as a bunch of jug-blowing knuckleheads and fatties who didn’t know enough to wear our good overalls out to a fancy dinner at the Olive Garden–was looped into the Twitter conversation.

Here’s what Rodbard actually said

Michael Solomonov and The Search for Israeli Cuisine

If you follow Zahav owner and chef Michael Solomonov on Instagram you know he’s been eating his way around Israel recently. It’s all part of a two-hour documentary he’s filming, called The Search for Israeli Cuisine. The PBS documentary is being filmed by two-time Academy Award nominee and James Beard Award winning filmmaker Roger Sherman

Above is the latest teaser from the project.

Zahav [Foobooz]
The Search for Israeli Cuisine [Florentine Films]

About Last Night: Smoke Meets Spice at Percy Street

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Last night Erin O’Shea and Michael Solomonov welcomed Lior Lev Sercarz to Percy Street for a very special dinner. Even though I quickly jumped on tickets to the event I wasn’t prepared for just how much great food would be offered.

Lior Lev Secarz is referred to as the “spice whisperer.” His blends of spice make it into the food at Zahav and onto donuts at Federal Donuts. Last night his spices magically mixed with the food coming from O’Shea’s kitchen.

The dinner in photos » 

Spice Dinner Is Coming to Percy Street

SpiceMeetsSmoke1On Tuesday, January 14th at 7 p.m., Percy Street Barbecue is hosting a special dinner with chef/owner Erin O’Shea collaborating with Zahav’s Michael Solomonov and master spice blender Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte Epice in New York City. You’ve come across these spices at Zahav and in many of Federal Donuts’ donuts and fried chicken.

The three-course dinner will be served family-style and each course will be paired with a drink featuring beer from Brooklyn Brewery. The price is $60 per person, which includes the beverage pairing, tax and gratuity.

Among the highlights, biscuits with foie gras butter, pork and lobster  machleb sausage and a smoked lamb shank.

Full menu » 

Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov Opening Two New Restaurants

 

Photo by Steve Legato

Photo by Steve Legato

Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov who have gifted us with Federal Donuts, Percy Street Barbecue and Zahav have two new restaurants planned for early 2014. Both will open opposite Federal Donuts on the 1600 block of Sansom Street.

Dizengoff, a casual hummusiya will offer varieties of hummus with fresh pita, condiments and pickles. The 25-seat space will offer a select beer list and be open seven days a week. The restaurant is named for Dizengoff Street, a major Tel Aviv boulevard and the restaurant will be modeled after the hummus spots found all over Israel.

Abe Fisher promises to be “an approachable restaurant serving the cuisine of the Jewish diaspora.” Solomonov says the food will be inspired by “the foods and dishes found in the Jewish communities outside of Israel, from Montreal and New York, to France, Hungary and Italy.”

Read more »

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