Over at Classic Cake in Cherry Hill, pastry chef Robert Bennett does a regular series of classes at his shop, called the Classic Cake Academy. He teaches about chocolate making, Jewish holiday desserts and whatever else moves him on any given month.
It being October now, his next class is going to be all about pumpkin. $10 gets you in the door (and gets you a complimentary hot beverage), and then you get to sit back and learn everything you ever wanted to know about baking with pumpkin.
The Classic Cake Pumpkin Academy will be happening at 7pm on Tuesday, October 7. You can sign up in the shop, by phone or email (firstname.lastname@example.org), but you will have to reserve your spot because the classes fill up fast.
Classic Cake [Facebook]
Photo by Mike Arrison
There are two ways a restaurant can be and remain successful: It can stay relevant, or it can become a classic. Sometimes, when the planets align and the gods approve, the two happen simultaneously. Pumpkin has lived at 17th and South for what’ll soon be 10 years, the anniversary of the day when owners Ian Moroney and Hillary Bor grabbed hold of a space nobody believed in and created (and kept) the BYO atmosphere we all know and love.
Alas, with the surrounding restaurant neighborhood explosion — the fancy toasts, the small plates — tiny places like this can get lost in the scrum. But Pumpkin stayed true and stayed exciting. Fregola sarda (toasted beads of Sardinian pasta) risotto with an English pea salad on top was not only comforting, but a texturally fun play on popping peas and smooth risotto. And it was the succotash that brought the sweet, tang and heat (from Styer Orchard chili peppers) that tiny gobbets of snails reveled in.
It’s easy eating at Pumpkin — not dated, not too precious, not clinging to trends, but not losing sight of what Philadelphia wants, either. It’s a restaurant that’s both current and classic, and that still harks back to a day when Philadelphia began to do what we do best: bring our own.
Originally published in the September 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Pumpkin Restaurant at 1713 South Street is doing a “just for the fun of it” three-course dinner for $35 tonight.
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