Two of my favorite places to eat in Philadelphia competed Monday night at our 23rd Foobooz Open Stove event. It was a knife fight between Cheu Noodle Bar’s sous chef, Chad Smith, and Will BYOB’s sous chef, Craig Russell. I asked Chad before we began if he was going to be doing anything Asian-inspired, or rather, Cheu-esque. And the soft spoken chef looked up, said “nope,” and went back to his prep. I walked over to the other side, where Craig was furiously assembling his amuse bouche, and I observed, “This doesn’t look very ‘Will.’” to which he responded, “You won’t see a single shaved vegetable on our plates tonight.” Now this, obviously, was not a dig at Chris Kearse. He just wanted to make sure the world knew that this was his food, done his way. The same went for Chad: this wasn’t going to be an extension of Ben Puchowitz‘s style—this was going to be all Chad.
So it began–Open Stove XXIII, a battle between two powerhouse restaurants in a restaurant obsessed city, with food by sous chefs who may be as talented as they come. And if you missed being there for the actual event, don’t worry. We have pictures–which don’t taste quite as good as the food that was served at COOK, but are the next best thing.
Show me the photos
A first chance to taste the menu at George Sabatino‘s upcoming Aldine, fancy sugar cookies, a night of Italian wine and food with Joe Cicala from Le Virtu, a chance to see what Jeremy Nolen is cooking up for his new American restaurant, Whetstone, AND another installment of our drunken culinary showdown series, Foobooz Open Stove? Those are just a few of the classes COOK has on the books for May, and tickets to all of them are going on sale tomorrow at 2pm.
So you know what to do. Check out the sneak peek of all the available classes below. Plan your attack. And then be at the COOK website right at 2pm to make sure you get the classes you want.
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Open Stove XXII was on Monday night, and like most of our Open Stove events, the guests got drunk. Not just because of the beer and wine, but because of the shots of Jameson tossed both into the food and down the throats of the patrons and chefs. It was a crazy night of Irish kitchen shenanigans, all in the spirit of St. Patty’s Day. Because we’re well into March, aren’t we? And it just seemed like the right time to start celebrating.
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It’s that time again. COOK is going to be releasing tickets for their April classes at 2pm on Monday and we have your monthly sneak peek right here. So pick the classes you want and be ready to make with the clicky-clicky on Monday afternoon before everything sells out.
COOK’s April Class Schedule
It is hard to believe sometimes that we have been doing Foobooz Open Stove Nights at COOK for as long as we have. But by the somewhat suspect accounting of the COOK staff, Wednesday night was our 21st outing and we celebrated it with two great teams, a potato-based challenge, shots of potato vodka, and cases of beer from those potato-loving Czechs behind Pilsner Urquell.
It was a wild night, full of drinking and rivalry and potato chip garnishes and coxcombs. But when the dust settled and the scores were tallied, there could be only one victor. And while only 20 or so people actually got to see the competition first-hand, we’ve come home with photo evidence of how things shook out (which is good, because everyone’s memories are probably a little bit fuzzy right now). So if you couldn’t be there yourself, click through the jump and check out what happened once the shots were poured and the tater tots hit the tables…
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If you’ve ever attempted to cut out gluten from your diet, you certainly realized—instantly, I’m guessing—that it severely limits your options as far as baked goods go. And what’s a world without cookies and cupcakes, I say?
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Photo by Suzanne Tenuto
Today, COOK is offering a very special takeout lunch. Chef Lou Boquila of Audrey Claire will be preparing Filipino ”silog”-style boxed lunches. The lunches will include your choice of beef, chicken, eggplant with eggs, fried rice, lumpia, flan and sago. The lunches are $12 and cash only. All proceeds will benefit Philippine typhoon relief efforts, with all the money going to the Gawad Kalinga Fund, a poverty empowerment organization.
Lunch kicks off at noon and goes till the food runs out.
Still have a few last-minute Christmas gifts to pick up for the food nerds in your life? Then we have the perfect solution. The January schedule of classes at COOK is going live at 2pm today, but because you’re a Foobooz fan, you’re getting to check out the goods a couple hours early.
And January is going to be a good month, too, with lots of cool stuff to choose from. Between Peter Woolsey doing classic French bistro fare, a bread making class with Jonathan Petruce and two chances at hanging out with local Top Chefs (Jason Cichonski and Jen Carroll, each doing a one-night-only class at the end of the month), how can you go wrong? Oh, and if you miss out on those two Top Chef classes (or if you’re looking for something a bit more in-your-face), January’s Foobooz Open Stove night features cooks from both of Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga‘s restaurants–Aaron Gottesman from The Fat Ham and Greg Garbacz from Sbraga. What’s more, that Open Stove competition is a little bit of a grudge match, seeing as both Greg and Aaron have stepped up to the stoves before. Greg won. Aaron lost. And now both of them have something to prove.
So check out the full preview after the jump. And get ready to make with the clicky-clicky right at 2pm today, because these things are going to sell out fast.
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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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Photo by HughE Dillon
COOK, Bonfire/Electric Factory are kicking off the first in a series of visiting chef appearances at Underground Arts this evening. The concept is that chefs have become the new rockstars and Underground Arts is bringing food and music together with guest chefs whipping up playful and affordable bar food for concert goers. Tonight’s show is a first Thursday club night and will feature Tennis, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Savoir Adore and On and On. Jen Carroll will be behind the burners for the inaugural event. Admission is $15 and all food proceeds benefit Philabundance.
Jennifer Carroll’s menu »