Solo Wins Beard, Wants Dancing Robot

Feast-fave Mike Solomonov of Zahav took home the Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic last night, beating out the heavily-favored Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, VA. The Feast caught up with Mike Solo after the coronation, to ask the Israeli Master what's next for him and his restaurant empire which includes Xochitl and Percy Street BBQ.

"Well, one of my chefs called out, so I'm back on the line tonight at Zahav," joked Solomonov. "So, that's definitely next. I'm racing back to the restaurant as we speak."

Before going any further, Solo mentioned his impending fatherhood, which he is expecting very shortly.

"I'm definitely excited for my kid coming, that's the next big thing, so that's going to be amazing," said Solomonov. "And we have Federal Donuts opening up this summer. We got a Belshaw Donut Robot, it's totally awesome. But, I was kind of bummed out that it's not this sci-fi chrome beast that shoots fire and breakdances with springy arms. It just makes doughnuts. Oh, well. We bought it off some guy we met in a parking lot for straight cash, which felt really shady. But, we're going to clean it, don't worry."

This year marked Solomonov's third straight Beard nomination (he was previously nominated for Rising Star in 2009, and Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic in 2010), and he joins the ranks of fellow past Philly winners Jeff Michaud of Osteria (2010), Jose Garces of Amada (2009), and Marc Vetri of Vetri (2005). [The Feast]

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