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Leadership: Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, co-founders
Concepts: Zahav; Federal Donuts (5 units, plus two seasonal locations); Dizengoff (4 units); Abe Fisher; Rooster Soup Co.; Goldie
Group systemwide sales: Not disclosed
What’s new: Rooster Soup Co. opened in January and Goldie opened in April. Federal Donuts locations opened in Miami, with Dizengoff next door. In 2018, Federal Donuts will open in Nashville, Tenn.
From soup to doughnuts
CookNSolo is building a diverse portfolio of restaurants on the East Coast. The group is led by chef Michael Solomonov and restaurateur Steven Cook, who left his job as an investment banker in New York to pursue his passion.
Solomonov was named this year’s Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation. He was born in Israel and raised in Philadelphia, and has helped educate American diners about the joys of Israeli cuisine with his restaurant Zahav.
While Zahav leans high end, CookNSolo is also demonstrating the casual appeal of Israeli food.
Fast-casual Dizengoff debuted in Philadelphia, in 2014, offering a contemporary take on the hummus stalls found on nearly every street corner in Israel.
The group also added limited-service Goldie, a vegan falafel shop serving the balls fried to order and topped with amba, schug or harissa sauces, with shawarma-spiced fries and tehina shakes.
And it’s growing Federal Donuts, which debuted in 2011 and has a cult following for its fried chicken and doughnuts.
Earlier this year, the group launched Rooster Soup Co. Proceeds support a hunger-relief and social-services program in Philadelphia that serves those in need.