Sneak Preview: May At COOK

shh-class-in-sessionYes, it’s that time again. COOK’s May class schedule is being released today, and as we always do,we’re offering you an early look at what’s coming so that you can make your plans (and get in there to make your purchases) before tickets for all the best classes sell out.

Tickets go on sale at 2pm today. So check out the schedule below and be ready to start clicking when the clock strikes.

COOK May class schedule

About Last Night: What Do You Mean You People Have Never Seen Barfly?

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No, seriously. It is a great goddamn movie–probably the single drinkiest film ever, and features a young Mickey Rourke (before he became a poster child for plastic surgery gone wrong) playing Charles Bukowski, in a movie written by Charles Bukowski. And what’s more, it has a serious Philly connection: Bukowski spent three years living, working, drinking and getting his teeth punched out here before writing the screenplay, and used his time in our fair city as the basis for all the action that happens in the film. The L.A. bar in which most of the film takes place? Based on a place where Bukowski drank at 17th and Fairmount.

And what stunned me last night was that during the trivia portion of last night’s all-cocktails Open Stove battle at COOK, I asked for a show of hands from the crowd.

“How many of you here have seen Barfly?” I asked.

No hands went up.

“What about the bartenders. You guys have seen Barfly, right?”

No hands went up.  The only two people in the entire place who’d ever seen it were me and Art.

So much for the trivia…

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Sneak Preview: April At COOK

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It’s that time again–time for us to give you a sneak peek at what’s coming up at COOK, and time for you to use this information in order to get a jump on everyone else out there when it comes to buying your tickets.

And this month, you’re going to need all the help you can get because COOK has some big events coming up–from a Bacon Fest to Joe Beddia teaching a pizza class to a very rare Bartender Battle for our 36th Open Stove night. Check out the description of that one:

Once a month, COOK hosts a fast-paced and unpredictable competition between two chefs, known as Open Stove. COOK provides mystery ingredients and guests get to watch in wonder as the combatants come up with inventive and cutting-edge dishes on the fly. In April, we’re switching out the chefs for bartenders and making it all about cocktails. But the premise is the same: bartenders will have to come up with cocktails for guests to enjoy made from spirits and secret ingredients they didn’t see coming. The best part? YOU get to be the judge! April’s competition features four of Philly’s best booze professionals including Sara Justice (The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.), Brian Kane (Zahav/Abe Fisher), Keith Raimondi (Townsend) and Vincent Stipo (a. bar/a. kitchen). This is gonna give new meaning to the term barroom brawl. Local craft distillery Manatawny Still Works is generously sponsoring the event. Please note: light bites will be served but not a full dinner.

Anyway, you can check out the full schedule below. And since tickets are going on sale today at 2pm, make your plans quickly and be ready to start clicking when the clock strikes two.

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Open Stove 35: When Mise En Scene Becomes Mise En Place

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We could have given them liver and a nice glass of Chianti to see what dishes they’d come up with, but Adam Ratmoko and Sean Korcal had it made from the start.

The theme of the 35th edition of Open Stove at COOK was “Celebrate the Movies”, a nod to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show. And when I say “a nod” I mean a direct rip-off, in the most flattering way possible.

Honestly, can you blame us? The contenders for the evening basically wrote the theme themselves. On one side of the stove, Adam Ratmoko was assisted by Joe McConnell, both representing team Strangelove’s which shares a name with Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film. On the other side, Sean Korcal took lead, assisted by last month’s Open Stove contender, Geno Betz, both from Bardot Cafe, itself named for French film ingenue, Brigitte Bardot.

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Sneak Preview: COOK’s March Schedule

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Along with Open Stove XXXV, COOK has a lot to offer this March, including a glimpse of warmer weather with Sipping on Springtime Wines with Michael Steinberger and Juice Your Way Into Spring with Kimberly Berger. So if you are longing for this frigid winter to end (or just struggling to think of a last minute Valentine’s Day gift), be ready at your computers tomorrow at 2 pm when tickets go on sale.

Here’s a sneak peak of COOK’s March calendar:

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11 Things to Do in Philly This Week: Lots of Food, Music for a Cause, and Strange Underwater Creatures



Sneak Preview: February At COOK

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Okay, so there’s a big month coming up at COOK. We’re talking classes with Peter Serpico, Nick Macri, Justin Swain, Peter Scarola, a restaurant preview, a Di Bruno Bros. night, Joncarl Lachman doing North African food and yet another entry in the ongoing culinary test-to-failure experiment that we call Open Stove. And where else are you going to get the chance to hang out with Top Chef Nick Elmi for a night? Nowhere, that’s where.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 2pm. You’re going to want to be there and ready when the light goes green. And for the sake of advanced planning, we’ve got the entire class schedule below.

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About Last Night: Southern Boys Gone North

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So we went and did it again. Because if it was fun the first time, then it just has to be fun the thirty-first time, right?

When it comes to Open Stove night, absolutely. And this time we had the sous chefs from two decidedly Southern restaurants, Percy Street and Rex 1516, come together for a battle that depended on their knowledge of distinctly Northeastern ingredients (plus some kitchen trivia, and their ability to hold their liquor). The results were, as usual, surprisingly good for the number of challenges we threw up before them, and on occasion amazing.

In case you couldn’t make the scene at COOK to see Percy Street’s Marc Campana go up against Evan Kelly of Rex 1516 (which, considering the limited number of seats and the speed at which they sell out, probably covers most of you), we were there with our camera to capture the best of the night’s action. So check out the snaps after the jump.

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Sneak Preview: COOK’s January Schedule

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Tickets for COOK’s January classes will be going on sale on Wednesday at 2pm. And do you know what that means? It means you can still get yours in plenty of time to give them as surprise Christmas presents. Because, seriously? Who wouldn’t love to spend a night at a Foobooz Open Stove competition, drinking shots and getting stuffed full of weird things made with Doritos and SPAM, prepared under stress by some of the most talented chefs in the city?

Or, if you’re looking for something a bit quieter, there are also classes being offered by the likes of Josh Lawler and Townsend Wentz, but I can guarantee that neither of them are going to be cooking with SPAM…

Show me the schedule

Sneak Preview: December At COOK

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It’s that time again, folks. Time for the cleverest among you to make your plans for snagging the best classes coming up next month at COOK.

I mean, sure, you should definitely snag your spots early for our next Foobooz Open Stove Night (because it’s going to be awesome, that’s why), but there’s a whole bunch of other cool stuff happening, too. So check out the full schedule below, and then be in front of your computers tomorrow at 2pm because that’s when ticketing will go live on COOK’s website.

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