Get Ready for Cook, Coming to Rittenhouse in June

Here’s one of the coolest projects we’ve heard about in a long time (and no, we’re not just saying that because our overlords are the official sponsors). In June, restaurateur Audrey Claire Taichman will open Cook, a collaborative kitchen, demo space and free-flowing forum for food-lovers, along the lines of chef Barbara Lynch’s Stir in Boston. It will occupy the building at the corner of 20th and Rittenhouse Streets (pictured) that was, up until last month, Snackbar. Taichman also owns Audrey Claire and Twenty Manning Grill, both located on the same block of 20th Street.

What will the food-curious find in this laboratory? Everything from hands-on cooking classes with guest chefs to “open stove” nights where sous chefs, line cooks, and even aspiring amateurs can showcase their talents in the kitchen. Expect to see intimate gatherings with cookbook authors, wine tastings, cocktail classes (the liquor license is staying), and classes for kids on weekends.

It will also be a resource for Philadelphia chefs, complete with a library, resource center and audio visual capabilities. Philadelphia magazine will host and promote events for the endeavor. Magazine president David Lipson is excited to be involved as “so much about Philadelphia is about food.”

We’ll roll out updates on pricing, classes and more as soon as they come in. In the meantime, tell us in the comments what kind of classes and events you’d like to see there.

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  • ThadS

    Wow, this is one of the coolest things I have heard about in a while. I might have to put my amateur chops to the test!

  • Danielle

    This. Is. Awesome.

  • Dow

    Would love to see malayasian cooking classes.

  • Jim

    I don’t understand how she would be able to put something like this together when she is NEVER in her own restaurant. She is a piece of poo.

  • Tony

    Enough hatin’, Jim. I don’t think I have ever been in Audrey Claire or TMG when Audrey was not there. One of the things I love about her restaurants is that she is always there, always making everyone feel comfortable. I feel like I’m at a good friend’s dinner party every time I go. Let’s all try to stay positive and give Audrey props for doing something really cool here that will benefit the entire City restaurant scene.

  • Brion

    Why does matter if THE OWNER is in the building? A quick Google search reveals Kiong Banh is the executive chef. And don’t get put out by the fact that he also oversees Twenty Manning- the issue here is about a fundamental misunderstanding of how restaurants work. Bahn, certainly unable to divide via binary fision or distort the space-time continuum, doesn’t have to be there either. I doubt Audrey Claire would be able to thrive if it didn’t have the same basic system in place that is featured in good restaurants everywhere- quality, consistent results irregardless of who cooks your meal.

  • Alethia

    What a great idea! This fills such a void in the Philadelphia marketplace for home cooks who want to grow their skills but not go to culinary school. Can’t wait!

  • donna

    Awesome, I’ve been trying to find something like this for my daughter who is an inspiring chef. Can’t wait until it opens!

  • Bonny in TO

    Way to go – we all know li’l Audrey Taichman will make this Rock. Cheers.

  • Robin

    Love this concept! So happy that Philadelphia will have such a dynamic dining and educational space. Great work Audrey and team!

    As for what I would most like to see in the space…menus that feature locally sourced (150 mile radius of the city) foods – specifically humanely raised meats.

  • http://www, Sean

    What about dinners paired with home brewed beer? Give us amatuers a shot at working with a sous chef or something.

  • Gatsby

    Audrey comes through again! Brilliant idea. She started the BYO revolution years ago, and continues to push Philadelphia’s culinary comfort zone. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. Really looking forward to a fresh concept on 20th Street.

  • Wade

    Good news. Philly’s already one of the great destinations for food. This is the type of thing that can help take it to the next level.

  • Carol

    Oh wow what a great idea! can’t wait to see what innovative classes she comes up with! Hopefully they will be renting out the space for private classes as well!!

  • Barry in TO

    Great idea, We know it is going to be great.

  • michele


  • Jessie

    Wow. This really sounds like an amazing concept. Will “Cook” be available for private parties? Sounds like the perfect thing for Rittenhouse Square!

  • peg

    this is a brilliant idea…love stuff like this that is at the vanguard…really sets philly apart. would love to have a sort of showcase for new or obscure foods & products as well as innovative & easy ways to prepare them. in my mind’s eye, I see it as a place where like minded foodies can gather, a place to gather where everyone doesn’t necessarily like everything, but they always appreciate everything. as we have just started up a small boutique winery, would love the oppty to get feedback about our wine from the type of individuals that would be in attendance. whatever form it takes, i’m in…love it!

  • Mitch

    Kiong Banh and Audrey Claire Taichman own Twenty Manning Grill together. Audrey Claire Taichman is the sole owner of the BYOB Audrey Claire’s. Kiong Banh is at TMG 6 days a week and Audrey is there at least five, while some days just working in the office and not working the floor. Both of those individuals work extremely hard but regardless, this is a great idea for that space and I am excited to see this venture be launched.

  • http://www, HughE

    Would you question whether Stephen Starr is in his restaurant everyday, I don’t think so? I don’t even understand why that matters, especially when you hire capable people to run your businesses. I think it’s wonderful that Audrey wants to open another business in Philadelphia. Thanks.

  • barb

    Great Idea. They should get Mary from the Whisk and Spoon to do a tea for us. Heck they should use them to make teas for all the restaurants, Steven Starr included…

    I think Whisk now do teas now for westin. Their gourmet long loose teas are blended, packaged in Pennsylvania… , Buy Local Baby!

    Hopefully this will be a success and not go the way of Kitchen Share on South….

  • John

    I think this is novel. Hope it’s a great success. How about a class on eggs. “tricks” for poaching, frying, etc?

  • alexis

    I would love to help with a class about tea :)

  • Mary

    Super idea! Would love to see some type of “Boot Camp” session.

  • Meg D

    I am absolutely ecstatic about this! I’ve never heard of anything like this and even more excited it’s coming to philly. Would love to see classes for the experienced amateur chef. Right now, I don’t think offerings cater to those of us who know our way around the kitchen and are looking to be challenged.

  • Dana Michele

    I’d like to see classes on: baking, wine, dining etiquette, spices, tea, how to prepare meals without fancy kitchen gadgets, visit a farm for fresh ingredients and then prepare a meal back at the kitchen, Sub-Saharan African cuisine, Indian cuisine, vegetarian versions of carnivorous recipes, knife skills, dinner parties, table-scapes, beer pairings, cheese, demonstrations from chefs on how to prepare a signature dish from their restaurant. It would be great if these classes were available at varying price points.

  • LeeAnne

    I love Dana’s idea of visit a farm for fresh ingredients and then prepare a meal back at the kitchen. Or even visit the Italian Market or an area farm market before preparing the meal. I think a close connection to local ingredients would be a fantastic offering.

  • Kristen

    Awesome idea! How about a sushi class about the proper way to cook the rice, safe handling of raw meats, make rolls/maki, etc? I’ve always wanted to know how!

  • MBC

    This is sweet! Two friends and I do beer and food pairing events, and we’ve been looking for a bigger, more restaurant-like atmosphere.

    I can’t wait for this to get started!

  • Auntie Doreen

    Dear Audrey:

    Love it. May have to come down there myself.Lots of luck and Love.Auntie Doreen.

  • Michayla

    This woman never ceases to come up with amazing concepts for our city. She is an asset to whatever endeavor she puts her heart into. She has rocked the restuarant scene, and done so much for the Arts, Rittenhouse Square, Food Allergies, Breast Cancer, etc etc. Perhaps in honor of Jim above we can get her to put something on her menu called JimPooh.