A few years ago, during a frenzied Whole Foods shopping trip en-route to a cookout, I accidentally grabbed a block of vegan cheddar “cheese” instead of the plain old cows’ milk variety. I didn’t realize my mistake until later on when, after a good 15 minutes on the grill, the cheese still had not melted onto our veggie burgers, which were now burnt to a crisp. Needless to say, it was a total cookout fail, and I’ve been pretty skeptical when it comes to non-dairy cheeses ever since.
But it looks like my skepticism might soon be a thing of the past: A group of scientists is attempting to create Real Vegan Cheese (their term, not mine), by engineering a vegan version of the milk protein casein, and combining the protein with water, vegan sugar and oil to make a vegan milk of sorts. The vegan milk would go through the age-old cheese-making process, as cows’ milk does, to create vegan versions of your favorites, like emmentaler and parmesan, according to the project’s Indiegogo page. Lots of folks are into the idea, it seems: The project has already reached its $15,000 goal, with 21 days left.
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Townsend, the two-month old but critically acclaimed restaurant, is hosting a Five-Course, “Three Way” Wine and Cheese Pairing Dinner on Thursday, July 17th. Chef-owner Townsend Wentz and General Manager/Wine Director Lauren Harris put together the night of five wines, five cheeses and five plates. “I’m always looking for new ways to share our food and our wines with our guests, and this dinner promises to be the first of many inventive pairing events,” Wentz said.
Tickets are $65 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Guests will get a taste of contemporary French flare and domestic and imported cheeses, all of which are paired with wines chosen by Harris.
Reservations are encouraged. To reserve your spot, call 267-639-3203.
For the love of cheese. This Thursday, June 26th, at 6:30 p.m. the Rittenhouse Di Bruno Bros. will host an International Cheesemaker Rock Stars Dinner. Attendees will be served cheese-focused dishes from six of the top cheese makers along with beer by Brooklyn Brewery. Preparing your food will be José Luis Martín of Manchego 1605, Sam Holden of Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar, Betty Koster of L’Amuse Gouda, Philippe Goux of Marcel Petite Comté, Giorgio Cravero of Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano, and Joe Schneider of Stichelton.
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Last week we told you how UberX can make it even easier to dine out New Jersey restaurants. Today, Iron Hill Maple Shade brewer Chris Lapierre is making it even easier to try his beers. He’s bringing his German Pils, Caprice (American Belgian) and Full Nelson IPA with Nelson Sauvin hops to Di Bruno Bros. at the Franklin for Cheese Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m.
The beers will be paired with three cheeses picked out by DiBruno’s cheese mongers and the price can’t be beat, it’s all free.
Cheese Happy Hour at the Franklin [DiBruno Bros.]
Way back in 2004, a former ice cream parlor at 18th and Sansom turned into a little bar named Tria. The first would-be guest walked out because he was looking for a martini. But that second guest actually bought something. And now, ten years later Tria is still going strong and they’re celebrating. On Tuesday, April 29th, the bar is pouring special beverages at anniversary-special prices.
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Tonight, Di Bruno Bros. at 9th and Sansom is launching a weekly “cheese happy hour” series. Every Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Di Bruno cheesemongers will present three cheese pairings. Tonight, Southern Tier Brewing beers will be part of the pairings. On Thursday, April 24th, it will be Victory Brewing Co.
The happy hour is free and pairing partners will be announced weekly via Twitter. Follow the hashtag, #3cheesethursdays.
Di Bruno Bros. – The Franklin [Foobooz]
Cheese Happy Hour [Di Bruno Bros.]
The team behind Tria Cafe has opened a pizza-and-beer joint. That would be one way to describe Tria Taproom, but not a particularly apt one. The Taproom offers flatbreads, not pizzas. A co-worker wondered if the only difference was pretense, but from my point of view, the Tria team can call them whatever they want as long as they keep making them, whether topped with burrata, balsamic onions and lemon zest or gorgonzola, duck confit and foie gras mousse. The Taproom lives up to its name as well, with 24 beers on tap from a system that’s one part work of art and one part peek into the future. The tap handles are mounted on an illuminated marble backsplash. iPad-based menus describe the beers, which come from Norway, Nebraska and Downingtown. The iPads also illustrate just how much beer remains in the keg, so you’ll always know when one is getting down to the dregs. The wine program is also entirely on draft—a system that promises fresher-tasting wines and incidentally befuddles the city inspectors trying to enforce Philly’s mandatory recycling program: What do you mean there’s no waste? Since this is a Tria operation, cheese, the third fermentable, plays a part on the menu, with options ranging from Approachable to Racy—which is an altogether accurate description of what you get at Tria Taproom.
Tria Taproom [Foobooz]
First appeared in the April, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
The Corner Foodery at 1710 Sansom Street is doing twelve days of beer tastings now through December 23rd. Tonight, Goose Island will be pouring free samples from 6 to 8 p.m. Other highlights include Sly Fox and Chimay. And this Wednesday, DiBruno Bros. will be in the house, pairing cheese with beer from 5 to 8 p.m.
Full schedule »
Mike Geno is an artist with a specific focus. There’s no doubt he loves food. His entire career is recognized because of a series of portraits:
Portraits of cheese, bacon, sushi, and bread—the necessities in life. He finds a certain type of beauty in each of them, and depicts them with bright colors and bold strokes. They’re stunning pieces, and they’re perfect for your kitchen walls. He’s based in Philadelphia, but his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. His recent body of work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Food Network Magazine, Esquire – Spain, and Cooking Light, amongst some others.
And he’s generously graced the Foobooz store with his presence, and not only that, but he did it for us exclusively. Clothbound Cabot Cheddar made its mark on Philadelphia recently, and restaurants love to show it off. It’s a beautiful cheese, and his portrait is even prettier. It’s only available for a limited time, so take advantage of the opportunity.
So, here it is, buy it, hang it on your kitchen wall, and tell your friends that you got one of the rare ones. Make ‘em jealous, because this is a work of art they’ll never have, not unless they’re copying you.
Want to see some of his original work in person? Mike Geno is hosting a local exhibition at 250 S 18th Street, the Metropolitan Gallery. It starts at 6 pm, Friday December 6th, and will be open on Saturdays and Sundays through January 5th. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cheese-lovers rejoice! DiBruno Brothers has opened their newest location at 834 Chestnut Street in The Franklin Building. The new shop feels like something of a hybrid of their other two downtown locations. Its pressed tin ceiling, pendant lighting and beveled tile work make the space feel lush (it is in the historic Ben Franklin House, after all) yet very much in line with the DiBruno aesthetic. The shop at The Franklin feels small, but only because it lacks the sweeping floor plan with case after case of prepared foods and beverages of the 19th Street location–and it’s still massive compared to 9th Street. There’s a comprehensive cheese counter, a coffee bar, a produce case, and an impressive array of olive oils, vinegars, jams, and other accompaniments, and the DiBruno line of prepared foods and beverages is available for take-out. The one thing that people will gripe about in the new space is the lack of indoor seating, but the new shop will heat your sandwich in a hyper-charged microwave oven (developed by the folks at Subway), called the Turbochef, to ensure that your bread is crispy and your cheese gooey when you take it back to your car or your desk or whatever not-as-beautiful-as-the-Franklin place to eat it.
Sampling events and photos, right this way