Some questions, like, “What’s your favorite food?” or, “Who’s your favorite author?” are utterly impossible for me to answer. But one abstract question I no longer struggle with is, “What was your best meal ever?” That’s why when Zagat ran this contest I had no problem entering. What was troubling was condensing one of the most monumental life experiences I’ve had into 75 words. How was I supposed to capture everything about that meal [and that day] – getting engaged, moving to Philadelphia, eating my first Israeli meal, meeting a chef-hero, tasting delicious wines and cocktails, eating the best food ever - into such a short space? This is what I [and my co-author Shaun, condenser of all things lengthy] came up with:
‘Dude, did you guys just get engaged?’ Chef Michael Solomonov asked us after our celebratory dinner at Zahav in Philly. We had, that afternoon. What began with champagne ended with the chef telling us his James Beard award was ‘small potatoes’ compared to the prize of marriage. And we’ll never forget the ta’yim, the tasting menu that introduced us to the flavors of Israel and turned us into regulars.
It was enough to convince Zagat, who selected my entry as one of the five winners of the “Best Meal Ever” contest. Now, my homage to one of the best nights of my life and one of [in my mind] the best restaurants in the country appears in an article with the “best meals ever” from the likes of Eric Ripert, Zagat editors, Food Network hosts and Iron Chef judges, among others. Dang.
I’m happy to be selected [thanks Zagat!], and I’m hopeful that the post will spark some interest in Zahav. After a chat with one of the Zagat editors earlier today, I learned that although he frequently traveled to Philly, he hadn’t yet be there. He told me he plans to now, and I hope the same goes for many!
You can find me on slide 20: Zagat’s Best Meal Ever: An Epic Look at Favorite Meals
How will we use our prize? Keep reading to find out…
What was your best meal ever? Leave a comment!