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Sam Calagione of Delaware’s Dogfish Head, meanwhile, won the nation's top award for “wine, spirits or beer” professional. Of course, the wins are especially gratifying after years of frustration, watching the city’s top nominees leave empty-handed in a dry spell dating to 2011.“The first keg of beer I ever sold outside of my state was to Tom Peters at Copa Too,” he said. If you’re a Philadelphian, you’ve mastered the underdog pose.“Dogfish Head would have gone bankrupt if it wasn’t for the city of Philadelphia in the late '90s.” Yeah, we're most outstanding at a lot of things — including drinking beer. That undeniably deep sense of pride in who we are, whom we cheer for, and also what we eat and drink, has always been tempered by the gnawing sense that we’re forever misunderstood, underestimated, and underappreciated by the national media.

The Cherry Hill native's Vernick Food & Drink last year earned four bells and my nod as the city’s best overall restaurant. Philadelphia was also represented by other finalists: Rich Landau from Vedge (best chef, Mid-Atlantic); Zahav (for outstanding service, and pastry chef Camille Cogswell was nominated for rising star chef).On Thursday night, Steph Curry will begin playing in the NBA Finals for the third straight year.But when he takes the court at Oracle Arena for the Warriors’ game against the Cavaliers, he’s going to look different—much different—than he has in past years.Philadelphia's culinary stars, too long overshadowed, stepped into the spotlight Monday night to achieve a major cultural breakthrough on the national stage in Chicago at the James Beard Foundation Awards.They convincingly asserted the city's claim as a major restaurant destination as the names of our brightest talents rang out not once but several times for major national awards: best chef, best restaurateur, and best "wine, spirits or beer" professional. “To the great city of Philadelphia, I am so grateful to bring this medal back home to you,” Michael Solomonov beamed from the stage, where the modern Israeli master behind Zahav (and Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, and Federal Donuts) was named the most outstanding chef in America. There are 14.7 million employees in the restaurant industry nationwide, according to the National Restaurant Association. It's a mash-up of kolsch, gose, and berlinerweiss with sea salt from Maine.

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