Sneak Peek: January Schedule At Cook

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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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COOK Masters Program: Now Accepting Applications From Cooks And Food Writers

michaelwraytattoosYes, 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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Jennifer Carroll Cooking in Philly Tonight

 

Photo by HughE Dillon

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 »

Sneak Preview: December At COOK

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December’s schedule is about to be released at COOK and you, you clever little monkeys, are getting an early look.

Because of the holidays, there are a lot of nights being taken up by private events (contact the lovely ladies at COOK if you’re interested in scheduling one of your own), but there are still some good classes available for those looking for a special holiday night out. Nick Macri, Peter Woolsey, Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal, George Sabatino and Jett–they’re all going to be there and, if you’re quick, you can be, too.

Registration opens at 2pm today. Be there and get clicking.

COOK’s December schedule, right this way

Sneak Preview: November At Cook

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November is the best month of the year. That’s not an opinion, that’s fact. The city looks prettier, the people look nicer, the food even tastes better. My birthday is on the 5th of it, and 23 days later, I get to eat a lot of turkey. It’s really the best month.

It’s looking to be an awesome month for COOK, too. Very Thanksgiving-y, and rightfully so. Rachel Klein (Miss Rachel’s Pantry) is serving up a Vegan Thanksgiving, while Laura Frangiosa (The Avenue Delicatessen) is whipping up a Jewish Thanksgiving, and I have no idea what either of those mean, but it’s exciting. Also, there’s an inside-look at what the Petruce brothers are bringing to Walnut Street and yet another installment of our Foobooz Open Stove Night which, coming as close to Thanksgiving as it does, promises to be a total drunken disaster totally awesome.

Check out the full schedule after the jump and be ready to buy some tickets this Friday, October 4th, at 2 pm.

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About Last Night: Junk Food Rumble at COOK

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We have done a lot of these Foobooz Open Stove Nights. Almost twenty of them now, by my count.

And we’ve had good nights and bad nights. Nights where we messed with the chefs a lot, and nights where we more or less left them alone to do their own thing. We have taken away tools and ingredients, made them cook with gefilte fish, SPAM and gummy bears. We haven’t made anyone cry yet, but we’ve come close.

Never before though have we had an Open Stove Night like last night’s Open Stove Night at COOK. While we have, by necessity, developed a kind of what-happens-at-Open-Stove-stays-at-Open-Stove kind of mentality, I can say that we messed with our contestants last night in some truly remarkable ways. We made them switch sous chefs. Then we made them switch back. We f’ed with the clock, threatened them with a dance battle, made them cook with Kraft macaroni and cheese and a selection of truly awful junk food picked up from the fanciest 7-11 in all of Rittenhouse Square. We made them do shots. We made the crowd do shots. And in the end, despite all of that, Jonnathan Yacashin from Noord (who won the night by one of the closest margins we’ve ever seen), Mack Horebe from the Saint James and their sous chefs performed with amazing restraint and aplomb, cooking some of the finest dishes we’ve had at any Open Stove since the games began.

And yes, I am saying that Pringles-crusted steak, macaroni-and-cheese-stuffed squash blossoms and Swedish Fish demiglace are some of the finest dishes we’ve ever had. Don’t believe me? Get yourself a ticket to next month’s Open Stove and come see for yourselves.

Or, you know, you could just check out the pictures from last night after the jump and pretend like you were one of the lucky few who joined us for our Junk Food Rumble…

Show me the pictures

Sneak Peek: COOK’s October Scedule

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It is that time again, folks. The new COOK class schedule is going to be released at 2pm on Monday afternoon but we have an early preview for those of you who want to be camped out in front of your computers just waiting to make sure you get a seat for the Cheu Noodle Bar noodle-making class, the Avance test dinner being done by Justin Bogle, or the next Open Stove competition being thrown by those hacks from Foobooz.

Anyway, it’s gonna be a good month. And you can check out the whole schedule after the jump.

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September At COOK: Who Wants Some Frybread?

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So you didn’t get tickets for last night’s Open Stove event at COOK and are feeling bad that you missed all the fun. I know how you feel.

But I have good news. There are still a few seats left for some of the other September classes. Most notably, for the Marcos Espinoza/Lucio Palazzo/Hawk Krall Shiprock frybread tacos class happening on Sunday, September 15.

$95 gets you a seat at the table–which is a good start because frybread is awesome and frybread tacos are double-awesome. But the price of admission will also score you some packaged frybread mix from Espinoza’s parents’ restaurant and a small, limited-edition print by local artist Hawk Krall, done just for the event.

So that’s better, right? Yeah, and you haven’t even seen the menu yet…

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About Last Night: And A Happy Rosh Hashanah To All…

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Last night was our 16th Open Stove night at COOK. Or maybe our 18th. The amount of drinking that goes on, it’s hard to keep track sometimes.

But anyway, it was, for certain, ONE of our Open Stove nights–this one bringing together Geno Betz, sous chef at Stateside, Anthony Passeri from Popolino (which is due to open back up again any day now, after their summer break), and their brave assistants for a culinary battle royale that would only end when one of them emerged victorious.

The challenge this time around? Making a New American cook and an Italian cook work with Jewish ingredients in honor of Rosh Hashanah. To that end, we hit ‘em with secret ingredient after secret ingredient–everything from honey and apple-flavored licorice to matzoh crackers (which, for some reason, caused Phyllis Stein-Novack to just lose her shit), Manishewitz (which also caused Phyllis Stein-Novack to lose her shit), pomegranite, gefilte fish, challah and so forth.

The two teams fought hard, talked some smack, drank shots, blew the time limit (more than once) and, in the end, it was Team Popolino that prevailed, having done everything from challah bruscetta with herbed gefilte fish spread to a bitter greens salad with apple licorice lardons.

It was a good night. It was a long night. It was a night full of drinking and surprises and something like ten courses of inspired seat-of-their-chef-pants cuisine. And if you missed it, just click through the link to see what it looked like on the inside of Open Stove 16.

Or 18. Or whatever.

Show me the pictures

About Last Night: Not Your Average Joe

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So last night was our big, Best of Philly 40th Anniversary Open Stove Masters showdown, pitting Joe Cicala from Le Virtu against Joey Baldino from Zeppoli in a five-course, knock-down, drag-out culinary battle to the death. And it was a night that truly had everything–from Cicala showing up with no sous chef and cooking the entire night solo (a first for Open Stove) to Solo himself, Michael Solomonov, showing up out of the blue to hang out, shake hands and check in on the competitors.

Since we had two incredibly talented Italian chefs in the house, we gave them the worst Italian ingredients we could find to work with–dry, grocery store pasta, plastic shaker cans full of generic parmesan cheese, Italian salad dressing and the like. We shocked them with ingredients, we messed with their heads, we forced them to cook on a wickedly short schedule (35 minutes to plate 22 finished entrees). And yet the guys still triumphed–knocking out course after amazing course of Italian grub for the packed house.

In the end, it was Team Zeppoli that brought home the win. But it was a close and hard-fought contest. And for those of you not lucky enough to be in attendance, we had champion shooter and friend of Foobooz, Yoni Nimrod, on hand to snap some gorgeous pictures.

Check ‘em out after the jump. Don’t forget to pick up a Best of Philly issue (on the stands right now). And be looking out for our next sneak preview of the new COOK schedule coming later this week.

Show me the pictures

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