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MEET OUR CO-HOSTS

Nick Elmi
Nick Elmi

Laurel, ITV

A seasoned French-trained chef, Nike Elmi made his mark at signature restaurants in the East Coast including Le Bec Fin, Union Pacific, and Oceana. Nick launched into the national spotlight by winning the 11th season of Top Chef, Bravo’s acclaimed culinary competition. His win propelled the opening of his esteemed French-American restaurant, Laurel, to many high accolades. In 2014, Nick chose FEASTIVAL as the perfect setting to debuted Laurel, allowing guests to have first dibs on his highly anticipated menu. In 2017, Nick joined Audrey Claire Taichman, Stephen Starr and Michael Solomonov as the newest Co-Host.

Michael Solomonov
Michael Solomonov

Zahav, Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, Rooster Soup Company

Michael Solomonov is an acclaimed chef, restaurateur and the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding Chef award by the James Beard Foundation. Also the 2011 James Beard Award winner for “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic,” Chef Solomonov is known for spotlighting Israel cuisine and transforming simple foods into culinary masterpieces. Widely regarded as one of Philadelphia’s top chefs, Michael has also been recognized for his accomplishments by The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and was named Eater’s National Chef of the Year in 2014. A leader and innovator in the culinary scene in Philadelphia, Michael has been a FEASTIVAL co-host since its inception.

Stephen Starr
Stephen Starr

STARR Restaurants

The powerhouse behind one of the largest multi-concept restaurant companies in the country, Stephen Starr has been a driving force behind unique restaurant concepts in Philadelphia, New York, Florida, Washington D.C., and Paris. This year the James Beard celebrated his accomplishments awarding Starr with the 2017 Outstanding Restaurateur award. With 25+ years in the hospitality and entertainment industries, Starr likens the experience of dining out to that of attending a theater production, where the players, props, backdrops, lighting and rapport are integral components of an overall dramatic effect. Starr’s ingenious and thematic restaurants have inspired other restaurateurs throughout the country. His dynamic and exciting restaurants have been featured at FEASTIVAL each year with a Starr Row dominating a section of the restaurant lineup. Stephen Starr has been a FEASTIVAL co-host since its inception.

Audrey Claire Taichman
Audrey Claire Taichman

Audrey Claire, Twenty Manning Grill, COOK

Audrey Claire Taichman is the admired restaurateur behind two of Philadelphia’s most beloved restaurants, Audrey Claire BYOB and Twenty Manning Grill – two culinary pillars within the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. As a forward-thinking entrepreneur, Audrey added a new and unique establishment to the city: COOK, Philadelphia’s first kitchen-classroom. COOK has become an exciting outlet for chefs to demonstrate their innovative ideas and menus. In addition to this local gem, Audrey is proud to be the brainchild behind FEASTIVAL, a breath-taking evening in support of the arts. Having partnered with FringeArts in response to the need to bring live arts to the forefront, Audrey rallied a group of restaurant industry cohorts and brought together the first ever evening celebrating the harmony between the culinary and performance arts. Since its inception in 2010, Audrey has been an integral part of the design and inventiveness of FEASTIVAL.