How this pastry chef went from bagel maker to James Beard Award winner

The food world is singing the praises of Zahav's 27-year-old Camille Cogswell.

Camille Cogswell got her start at a Bruegger’s Bagels in Asheville, N.C. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, she worked in New York City before landing in Philadelphia, where she's been creating Israeli-inspired desserts with her own modern flair at Michael Solomonov’s Zahav restaraunt. That's where she caught the eyes of the James Beard Foundation.

And now, the Oscars of the food world has weighed in, and the verdict is ... delicious. Cogswell, 27, was named Rising Star Chef of the Year, one of the biggest honors of the James Beard Awards, held May 7 in Chicago.

“It means so much to me, knowing that people believe in me,” Cogswell told after receiving her award.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” she said. “All these people nominated me based on what they think I’m going to do. This is really about the future.”

She is only the second pastry chef to win the award.

zahav restaurant The evening atmosphere at Zahav Restaurant in Philadelphia. 'Food describes humanity,' says co-owner and chef Michael Solomonov. (Photo: Zahav Restaurant)

As she floats back down to Earth and returns to her post at Zahav, be sure to catch Cogswell's famous Konafi, a traditional Israeli dessert with labneh yogurt and sachleb (ground orchid root), as well as her signature Turkish coffee custard.


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Related Topics: Chefs & Restaurants, Food News