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March 16, 2017

Questlove, Philadelphia chefs and restaurants nominated for James Beard Awards

Food James Beard Foundation
Shakshouka Michael Persico/for PhillyVoice

Photograph from "Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking," by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Photography copyright ©2015 by Michael Persico. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Philadelphia chefs and restaurants are in the running to get an award that calls itself the "Oscars of the food world."

The James Beard Foundation announced this year's nominees Wednesday, with some recognizable names spotted in five categories.

Michael Solomonov was nominated for Outstanding Chef, while his restaurant, Zahav, was nominated in the Outstanding Service category. Camille Cogswell, of Zahav, was also nominated for the Rising Star Chef of the Year award.

Both Rich Landau, from Vedge, and Greg Vernick, of Vernick Food & Drink, are in the running for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.

Stephen Starr, of Starr Restaurants – including Barclay Prime, Parc, The Continental and more – was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur.

The James Beard Foundation announced its semifinalists back in February

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, The Roots drummer who hails from the City of Brotherly Love, was also featured on the list.

Questlove was given a nomination in the organization's Nonfiction category for "Something to Food About: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs."

The book, released last April, explores conversations with 10 chefs from across the nation. 

It's a first for Questlove, and he wasn't afraid to show his excitement in an Instagram post Wednesday.

"Wow man, who knew being a fly on the wall watching others work and gathering life notes would lead to this?" he said.

Winners will be announced during ceremonies in New York City on April 25 and in Chicago on May 1.