About Last Night: USA vs. Canada At Open Stove IX

Yes, it was an international rumble in Rittenhouse Square last night with a USA-vs-Canada, cross-border throwdown that pitted the pride of Detroit, Scott Schroeder (of South Philly Tap Room and American Sardine Bar), against Toronto’s own Nick Macri ,the charcuterie wizard of Southwark. It was a battle of the beards. It was a battle for national pride which, at a certain point, devolved into a drinking contest (as such things often do). It was an epic struggle between two chefs who may have forgotten some of their ingredients and left good sense at the door, but never forgot how much was riding on their victory or defeat.

It was Foobooz Open Stove Night IX and it was one for the record books. Thankfully, COOK’s faithful photographer Yoni Nimrod was there to capture it all on film. So for those of you who missed it, here’s a taste of how things looked from the inside.

Lovely, isn’t it? This was just one of the amuse bouches put together by team Canada–a lovely little confection of foie gras and ice wine gelee. See what you miss out on when you don’t come and hang out with us?

As always, we tried out best to confuse the boys by hitting them with secret ingredients like white bread (appropriate for Team USA) and maple syrup–perfect for those poutine-eating tree-lickers north of the border. As thngs turned out, though, the best way to throw things into an uproar? One extra large bottle of Canadian Club whiskey left within easy reach…

First course from Team Canadia: fluke with apple salad and a maple syrup vinaigrette. It was delicious.

1st course from Team USA: Breakfast, of course. In this case, a shrimp cake, scrambled eggs and maple-glazed jalapeno. It was even delicious-er.

When it came to utilizing the white bread, team USA went down the obvious path and made gigantic pork sandwiches with a scratch BBQ sauce thrown together out of a bunch of ingredients just sitting around on the counter. It was an impressive feat of scrounging. And while not wholly responsible for this…

…such inventiveness did have quite a bit to do with the eventual, whiskey-and-Budweiser-soaked victory of Scott Schroeder and Team USA over Nick Macri and Team Canadia. It was a hard-fought contest. Both chefs put out some amazing plates under thoroughly weird circumstances. And from what I understand, there are already rumors of a re-match being planned.

But we’ll save that story for another day.

American Sardine Bar [Official]

Southwark [Official]

COOK [Official]