Sneak Preview: April At COOK

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April classes at COOK are going on sale this weekend. And like we do, we’re giving you a sneak preview of what’s coming up so that you can get a jump on all those non-Foobooz-reading people out there and snatch up all the best classes for yourselves.

So if you’re interested in learning about pastries from Pat O’Malley of Hungry Pigeon or talking cocktails with the crew from Olde Bar or just hanging out with Res Ipsa’s Michael Vincent Ferreri for a night of Sicilian food, you’re in the right place. The full list of classes is after the jump and tickets are going on sale this Saturday, March 4, at 2pm. So like the Boy Scouts say, be prepared.

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Saying Goodbye With Sushi

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For certain people out there, that photo above is a kitchen dream team — four sushi chefs, all long-time friends and compatriots, who have worked for years to bring serious sushi and Asian fusion to the Philly suburbs.

In order, from left to right, it’s Toyoji Yamada, Koichi Aoyama, Akihiko Takeshima and Toshio Hosaka, and they all work now at restaurants in the Win Signature Restaurants group–namely Teikoku in Newtown Square, Azie in Media and Azie on Main (Villanova). But back in the day? They did their time at Morimoto, Pod and the now almost legendary Genji sushi bar on Sansom Street where they all met.

These guys are, essentially, part of the living institutional memory of sushi and Japanese cuisine in Philadelphia. And on Sunday, March 26, they’re all getting together for one dinner to say goodbye to one of their own.

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner At Aldine?

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In terms of chef-y collaboration dinners, George Sabatino has put together some of the more interesting ones lately at his Center City restaurant Aldine. I mean, there are the now-annual Christmas Eve pie dinners with Stargazy’s Sam Jacobson. There are the whole-animal dinners and the team-ups with local brewers and distillers.

But how about getting one of the best chefs in Philly AND one of the best chefs in Pittsburgh together for a one-night-only six-course collaboration dinner with Sabatino and Aldine’s crew? That would be pretty awesome, right?

And how about if we told you it would only run you $100 to get a seat at the table?

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There’s A Big Garces Foundation Food Event Happening On March 24

Jose Garces prepping for class at Volver's Summer School

I know it’s still February, but it already feels like spring outside. And spring is when all the big food festivals start popping back up on the calendar. So it just seems like a good time to remind everyone that on March 24, at the Loews Philadelphia on Market Street, Jose Garces and a whole bunch of chefs are going to be getting together for a big party and event to benefit the Garces Foundation (organized in 2012 to help Philly’s immigrant community–particularly those who work in the food service industry).

So it’s a big party. All the best people are going to be there. And the price of your ticket is going to help immigrant restaurant crews and their families. How could it get better?

How about if you were able to save a few bucks on your ticket if you bought it before the end of the month?

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Georges Perrier is Back in the Kitchen (Again)

Baril/Facebook

Baril/Facebook

Although, really, Georges Perrier has never really left. The man who brought Philadelphia all the opulence of Le Bec Fin has been a fixture in this scene for decades, and even after leaving that storied space, he still pops up everywhere. And whether he’s hanging out at a bar in Rittenhouse, dropping in on a class at COOK, or doing a dinner at the restaurants of any one of his many proteges, Perrier has never truly gone away.

But now, he’s coming back with a regular gig: doing a monthly bouillabaisse dinner in the kitchen at Rittenhouse Square’s French bistro, Baril.

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Philly Craft Beer Festival Coming Back To The Navy Yard

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Okay beer nerds. Time to mark your calendars. The Philly Craft Beer Festival is coming back again to the Navy Yard on Saturday, March 4. Tickets are on sale right now, and the organizers are guessing its going to sell out. Why? Because it sells out every year. So if you’re interested in hanging out with several hundred of your closest friends, drinking beer under the tents at the Navy Yard, it’s time to act.

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There’s A Wine Happy Hour at Wm. Mulherin’s Sons Tonight

MulherinsWineWe get it. You don’t really need an excuse to go to Wm. Mulherin’s Sons. The Fishtown restaurant was one of last year’s most impressive openings–the kind of place where you go once and then start scouting the real estate listings looking to buy in the neighborhood just so you never have to be too far away.

But in case you do need some convincing, how about a happy hour full of Calabrian wine and getting to hang out with the guy who makes them?

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Learning Bartending From The Pros

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I know you think you’re a pretty good at-home bartender. Maybe you know a few tricks. Maybe you got a couple good recipes up your sleeve. But the pros out there will still school any amateur when it comes to knocking out the classics because you know what’s a better foundational education than making a few dozen martinis for a cocktail party with friends? Making a thousand of them for strangers.

So if you’re serious about learning something, you have to go to a professional. And lucky you, the crew at the Ranstead Room is there to help.

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Le Virtu is Doing a Medieval Italian Dinner

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So here’s something you don’t get to eat every day: Stewed gourds.

Or rosewater ravioli. Or dessert made of mozzarella cheese.

But that’s exactly what you’re going to get if you show up to Le Virtu on February 23 for their (somewhat clumsily, but accurately, named) Pre-Columbian Medieval And Renaissance Dinner.

See, owner Francis Cratil is a man who loves history. The kind of guy who, with a little bit of time to kill, goes flipping through ancient cookbooks like Apicius (from the 4th or 5th century, full of marvelous and ridiculous rich-people foods from an Italy before the coming of the tomato) or Bartolomeo Scappi’s Opera dell’Arte del Cucinare (from the 16th century) looking for interesting historical tidbits like how Jewish communities in Italy were fattening goose livers for a kind of foie gras, or the first actual picture of a fork–which is found in Scappi’s book.

But he’s also a guy who owns a couple of excellent Italian restaurants, and a curious sort besides. So here’s how his thought process went…

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Parks On Tap is Back for 2017

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On a cold and gray day like today, it’s good to look forward to spring and summer. It’s even better to look forward to spring and summer knowing that the return of the sun, the warmth and the flowers will also mean the return of Parks On Tap.

Last year, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Parks and Rec and FCM Hospitality all got together and thought, “Hey, you know what would be cool? If we put together some kind of mobile beer garden that went around from park to park, allowing people to hang out in hammocks and drink in the sunshine.” And then they did exactly that.

And this year, starting on May 17 (which, really, isn’t all that far away), they’re going to do it again with another full season of Parks On Tap.

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