Yes, ladies and gentleman, we’re doing it again. Foobooz and COOK have gotten together and organized a new semester of the COOK Masters Program–a totally free cooking school curriculum designed to put up-and-coming cooks in front of some of the most talented chefs in the city so that they can learn from the best.
As always, the program is free. COOK will host one class every week for 7 weeks, beginning January 13 (with most classes happening on Monday afternoons in order to work around the schedules of busy line cooks), for just 10 students. They’ll learn butchery from Jon Cichon of Lacroix, French sauces from Peter Woolsey of Bistrot La Minette, talk about wine with Brian Freedman and more.
But this time around, we’ve made a change. While, in the past, the program has been open only to cooks, this time we’re holding a couple spots open for food writers–and having a special class taught by Rick Nichols and Drew Lazor which will focus completely on the business of writing about dinner rather than cooking it.
So are you interested? Of course you are. We’re taking applications for ten days (starting today), and you can find a full course schedule and links to the application paperwork below.
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The first class of the COOK Masters Program has officially graduated now. They’ve done their lessons, learned how to make sauces, break down pigs, bone out chickens and handle everything from pickling and charcuterie to a dinner service under the direction of Michael Solomonov. And now, with the first class barely released back into the pond, we’re ready to start putting together a new semester.
The COOK team has instructors chosen and a syllabus put together (both of which you can check out after the jump). And the first class of the 8-week session will be on May 6, which is coming right up. So what we need next are students. And that’s where you come in.
As before, the COOK Masters Program will be completely free for the 10 students we choose. If selected for the new semester, you’ll be put in front of some of the best chefs in the city for intensive, hands-on training in everything from cheese making and fish cookery to nutrition and butchery, with one class a week for eight weeks. Obviously, we’re heavily favoring working cooks–with the intention of training up Philly’s next generation of big name chefs–but are not limiting the student body to professionals. If you’re a genius home cook (or caterer, or personal chef or food writer or whatever) who thinks you’ve got what it takes to make the cut, by all means apply. And if you are a working cook, no matter how early you might be in your career, this is an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up. I mean, where else are you going to get to spend hours sitting with Jean Marie Lacroix while he teaches you to make French sauces?
Anyway, here are the details and the schedule. The application link is at the bottom of the page. And the deadline for getting your applications in is April 8 so, you know… Get on it, huh? Last time around we got more than ten times as many applications as we had spaces for students, so being early certainly can’t hurt.
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Yesterday was the final meeting for the first class of the COOK Masters Program, and what better way to put a cap on things than by having all the students get together and use what they’d learned to cook a mock service while being judged by local food writers, chefs and critics and bossed around behind the line by Michael Solomonov?
Yeah, nothing like an easy last day of classes, right?
Still, the 9 students that made it to the end of the program did a good job putting everything together. And while there were some stumbles, one thing was clear: There are now 9 very well-trained, well-rounded and well-connected new cooks on the Philly scene looking for kitchens in which to kick ass. And here’s a little bit of good news for those of you who didn’t make the cut for the first semester: COOK is doing it all again, starting very soon. So keep your eyes on Foobooz early next week for details on the new semester of the COOK Masters Program.
In the meantime, though, check out these snaps shot by COOK’s photographer and Friend of Foobooz, Yoni Nimrod.
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As we speak, the class of 2013 is beginning their first day of the COOK Masters Program–an intensive, hands-on class in breakdown and butchery being taught by Jon Cichon of Lacroix. They brought their knives. Most of them showed up in their whites. And the very first thing they get to face down? Taking the heads off of whole chickens brought in as their training materials for Day One.
We thought it might be nice, at this early moment in their education, to take a look at the 10 students making up this first Masters Program class. After all, if we here at Foobooz and the team at COOK all did our jobs well, some of these cooks will grow up into the chefs you’ll be reading about here in years to come. And now you’ll get to say that you knew all about them back before they were cool…
UPDATE: Now with 100% more Sandy Trinh!
Check out the video and student bios after the jump
Yes. Thank goodness, the weekend is finally here. It’s just starting to get chilly, but we’re already over this cold. While we’re strong proponents of curling up in front of a fire and drinking hot chocolate, we think you should bundle up and face the icy temperature for some of the fun events this weekend has to offer. Whether this means sampling top Philly chef’s best dishes in support of healthy babies, taking shots for Sandy relief, or trying out three Stephen Starr alum’s brick-oven pizza spot, we think its going to be worth it.
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Photo of chef Michael Wray.
Remember back a few weeks ago when we first announced that COOK was going to be offering a seriously cool, seriously hardcore, seriously professional-level cooking class where 10 hand-selected students would be trained over the course of 3 months by some of the best chefs in the city?
Remember when we told you that it was going to be free?
Well, we here at Foobooz are very pleased to announce that the syllabus has been set, the instructors have been booked, the dates have been confirmed and the first-ever term of the COOK Masters Series is now scheduled to begin on January 7, 2013.
And that, of course, means that we’re going to start taking applications for those ten available student slots starting today.
Check out the syllabus, application requirements and deadlines
“Getting all these chefs to agree to be a part of it couldn’t have been easier… We just started making calls and haven’t finished — not one person has said no.”
– Audrey Claire Taichman, in an interview on COOK’s website
UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, we’ve already been getting questions from folks about this new program. One of the big ones? How much is it going to cost. I can now tell you that we just heard from COOK and they have decided that the 10 students chosen for the 1st semester of the COOK Masters Program will be going FOR FREE. Yup, you read it right: 20 hours of instruction by the city’s best chefs, and it ain’t gonna cost you a penny.
This is going to be huge.
No, seriously. For all of you cooks out there–for all of you apprentices, stagiers, externs, students and passionate amateurs, all of you up-and-comers, all of you line dogs aspiring for something more, all of you broke-ass, bone-tired, hard-working, up-by-your-bootstraps white jackets banging out 200 tables a night and reading cookbooks on the dock between dinner hits… Man, do I have some news for you.
Right now, as we speak, we here at Foobooz and the team at COOK are making plans for the first semester of the COOK Masters Program: A straight-up professional cooking school designed to give 10 lucky students the experience of a lifetime as they are personally trained by some of Philadelphia’s best and most successful chefs. Here’s the pitch:
After just one year and over five hundred cooking classes, COOK, Philadelphia’s premier demonstration kitchen, begins a new chapter with The COOK Masters Program: an instructional cooking series taught by some of the city’s and country’s biggest culinary names, for students who are truly passionate about pursuing a professional career in the restaurant industry.
And just wait until you hear who the instructors are going to be…
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