Zahav pastry chef wins James Beard Award

Camille Cogswell is Philadelphia's only winner this year.

John McDevitt
May 08, 2018 - 2:43 pm
Camille Cogswell

Alexandra Hawkins

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The James Beard Awards, known as "the Oscars of food," were handed out in Chicago on Monday night. Among the winners was the pastry chef of Society Hill Middle Eastern restaurant Zahav.

The rising star chef of the year award went to Camille Cogswell, Philadelphia's only winner this year.

"It's a big, old, fat, heavy medal," Cogswell said, laughing. "I am so incredibly grateful."

The 27-year-old says the fact that so many people believe in her and her future is incredible.

"I'm so honored that so many people think I'm going to do great things," she said. "And I am going to try not to let them down."

Cogswell has been working at Zahav for about 2 1/2 years. She says she is probably known for her malabi custard, an Israeli milk pudding. "Very similar to a panna cotta," she said. "It is softly set, and it's lightly sweetened, and then we add some floral elements to it with orange or rose water and sachleb, which is grounded orchid root."

Cogswell say she isn't quite sure where she will put the medal, but she will probably hang it in Zahav's pastry kitchen for a little while.