The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences has announced that it has awarded ilili Restaurant in New York the International Star Diamond Award, making ilili the first Lebanese restaurant in the world to receive the honor.
The Star Diamond is regarded as the most prestigious award of true excellence in hospitality, gastronomy, attitude, quality, cleanliness, and above all service. Every year the Academy receives an influx of possible recipients from respectable sources around the world, and hand selects each institution after careful review and rigorous evaluation.
“I am honored to have been recognized with the Star Diamond Award,” said Chef and owner Philippe Massoud. “For the past eight years my team and I have put our heart and soul into making ilili the best Mediterranean restaurant in NYC, and we’re truly humbled to have this distinction from the AAHS.”
Published in Star Diamond World, the Academy noted the following of its honor to ilili and owner Philippe Massoud:
“Set in the Flatiron District of Manhattan in a chic high-ceilinged room bedecked with wood, ilili is a 10,000 square foot restaurant, which features more than 200 seats and lavish interior designs. Chef-owner Philippe Massoud has concocted a menu that melds traditional Lebanese and modern Mediterranean flavors. The menu offers traditional Lebanese dishes such as kibbeh, hummus, baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, as well as dishes with modern twists, such as kale fattoush, and duck shawarma with fig puree, charcoal grilled meats and fish, and freshly baked pita, round up the meal. ilili offers an impressive wine list that includes wines from all over the world.”
Other prestigious winners of the Star Diamond Award include Ardour Alain Ducasse in New York, Market by Jean-Georges in Mexico, and La Palme d’Or in France.
Born in Lebanon, Chef Philippe Massoud immigrated to the USA in 1986. He is credited with pushing the envelope of Lebanese cuisine and has created some of the most unique dishes, like his signature Pecan Karabij dessert, savory Katayef pancakes and Duck Shawarma with figs, among many others. Massoud plans to open several other ilili and ilili box locations in NYC and overseas as far away as Dubai.