Free Cooking School For Ten Of The Best Working Cooks In Philly

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With everyone else headed back to school this week, we got to thinking. You know what we haven’t done in a while? Gotten together with the crew from COOK and planned out a new semester of their COOK Masters program.

For those of you who maybe haven’t heard of this before, here’s how it works. The COOK Masters program is an intensive, nine-week professional course that meets once a week (generally Mondays, though a couple of Tuesdays as well) for personal instruction in basic and advanced cooking techniques taught by some of the biggest names in town. We’re talking Peter Woolsey from Bistrot La Minette (and La Peg) doing sauces, Heather Thomason from Kensington Quarters showing you how to break down whole pigs, Vedge’s Rich Landau educating you on the basics of vegan food. No, seriously. Rich Landau–one of the best and most respected vegan restauranteurs in the country. And he’s going to hang out with you for an afternoon to talk about cooking with vegetables.

And the best part? It’s all free.

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Hey, You Know How You Always Complain About COOK Tickets Being Sold Out…?

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One of the biggest complaints about COOK has nothing to do with my constant (and HILARIOUS) excoriations of the crowds at Open Stove for not loving Barfly and Strange Brew (two of the best drinking movies EVER), but the fact that tickets for the best classes are often sold out before most people even get a chance to register (hence our monthly sneak preview posts).

But now, you all have nothing to complain about. Because right now, there are some awesome September classes that still have seats available because, you know, its the end of summer and kids are going back to school and people have other things to worry about than getting the chance to talk about ice cream (and other desserts) with the guys from Big Gay Ice Cream.

Anyway, here’s the good stuff that COOK has left right now:

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Iced Tea Pop-Up at Cook

with tea, a journal about tea | Photo by Alexis Siemons

with tea, a journal about tea | Photo by Alexis Siemons

Friday, August 14th and Saturday the 15th, tea writer and consultant Alexis Siemons is hosting an iced tea pop-up at Cook (253 S 20th Street). She will be offering free sips of freshly brewed iced tea and cold brew tea from noon to 2 p.m. each day, as well as sharing iced tea tips and tricks.

Siemons will also be launching the first issue of her quarterly journal, with tea. The journal features 11 seasonal tea-infused recipes, photos and stories. Each  journal comes wrapped in a vintage handkerchief. The handkerchiefs providing an attractive placemats for a cup of tea at home. Siemons created and tested the recipes, wrote the stories and took the photographs for the project.

Each journal will be available for purchase for $24 at COOK (but only during the Iced Tea Pop Up, look for it online starting August 19th). Also, COOK will be offering 20% off all of their cookbooks and pantry items during the pop up.

COOK [Official]
Teaspoons and Petals [Official]

Sneak Preview: September Classes At COOK

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Shockingly, another month of summer has sped by, meaning it’s that time again: COOK’s September schedule is going up tonight at 6 PM. As usual, the best classes go rather quickly, so you’d better be at the ready if you want to score seats to the classes happening in their kitchen in September. How does a whole hog from Kensington Quarters sound? Or perhaps dumplings from Bing Bing Dim Sum and Cheu Noodle Bar. Want to learn to bake apple pie (it is fall, as scary as that is), or learn to make pasta? Or come see our 40th Open Stove competition? All that and more is on their calendar for September. Read on for the full list.

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Food Underground Launches “Cook’s Canvas” Dinner Series

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Food Underground is hosting a “Cook’s Canvas” dinner series at Reading Terminal Market starting on Monday July 27th. Food Underground is a for hire dinner party service that caters meals, writes about food and supports local chefs. They kinda do it all. The company is run by Ari Miller (not to be confused with Ari Miller of 1732 Meats) who has been around the block, boasting experience at places like Percy Street Bbq and High Street. If you’re interested in what Ari’s cooking up, he has two upcoming classes at Cook (UPDATE: which are unfortunately both sold out.)

The event at Reading Terminal Market will support promising line cooks chosen by Ari, each installment of the series featuring a different chef. The best description of the event comes from Ari himself: “Cooks’ Canvas showcases such line cooks of great promise, affording them the opportunity to realize their imaginations by providing an audience to feed. In turn, the guests then feed these young cooks’ futures. This all happens in tandem with the Food Underground staff. We facilitate the framework in which dream becomes reality, connecting these aspiring artists and their patrons.”

Uh… Okay.

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Sneak Preview: COOK’s August Schedule

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While “school” and “summer” don’t exactly go hand in hand, classes at COOK are never anything less than fun (or less than delicious, for that matter). So to keep you in the loop, we’re bringing you August’s lineup a little early. This way, you can  hopefully snag one of the choice spots as you plan your next month’s nights out.

The class schedule rolls out for registration tomorrow at 2 PM, and as always, the classes will go quickly. This month will host everything from a preview of Stargazy (British comfort food and baked goods, which we wrote about this morning) and a summer in Provence dinner from Michele Haines of the Spring Mill Cafe, to classes focusing seafood, fermented beverages, dumplings and donuts.

See something you like? Our advice is to act fast. Best of luck and happy eating!
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Sneak Preview: July Classes at Cook

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Hey, speaking of COOK

Act fast because tickets for July classes go on sale at today at 2 pm. If your idea of a good night includes cooking with Yun Fuentes (Alma de Cuba), Nick Macri (La Divisa Meats), or Valerie Erwin (formerly Gee Chee Girl) then make your plans now and be sitting in front of your computer at 2pm today.

As usual, there is a full schedule of great food, including restaurant previews of Hungry Pigeon, Restaurant Neuf and  Herban Quality Eats. Check out the full list after the jump.

July schedule at Cook »

About Last Night: The One Where No One Saw Strange Brew, But At Least We Had Tiny Sombreros

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Thinking caps that guests wore for trivia rounds, and Jason wore for fun.

It is imperative that you do the following tonight: crack open a beer, introduce your backside to the couch, and put on Strange Brew. Do not pass go.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about last Wednesday. The event was Open Stove XXXIX, themed (you could say loosely) around Beer Week, steak houses, and a little bit of Fireball. And teeny, tiny sombreros.

In what is turning into a recurrent nightmare for Jason during the trivia portion of our Open Stove events, no one had seen Strange Brew (recall the Barfly incident). Prepared for disappointment this time, however, we came armed with thinking caps and more than enough alcohol to ensure that even those who hadn’t seen the movie would, by the end of the night, almost believe they had.

Click through for all the laughter, tears and tiny hats. Yeah, we have pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

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Sneak Preview: June Classes At Cook

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It’s kinda short notice this month, but tickets for June classes at COOK are going to be released today at 2pm, so if you’re looking to hang out for a night with Jason Cichonski, Luke Palladino, George Sabatino, the crew from Marigold or, you know, us on one of our now-legendary Open Stove Nights, you’re gonna have to be quick.

As always, we’re here to help you out. The full schedule of classes is below. So make your plans, pick your days, and be on the COOK website at 2pm today to get your tickets.

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