Yes, the event here is about a month away. And yes, that’s generally kind of outside the window for most peoples’ dinner planning. But this is one of those collaboration dinners where it might be best to reserve first just so you’re not regretting it later, you know?
As of right now, there are 62 tickets left for the November 6 Duck, Duck, Goose celebrity chef dinner and Hank Shaw book signing at Brauhaus Schmitz. The deal here is that six chefs are all coming together to cook a single dinner, with each course inspired by the recipes in Hank Shaw’s book Duck, Duck, Goose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Ducks and Geese, Both Wild and Domesticated.
Cool, right? And there’s going to be booze and a book signing and everything else you’d expect at one of these things. But what’s really cool about this one are the chefs that are involved. For one night only, the kitchen at Brauhaus Schmitz will be home to Jeremy and Jessica Nolen (who, okay, are there pretty much every night), Jenn Carrol, Jason Cichonski, Joe Cicala and Ben Puchowitz.
And wait ’til you see what they’re going to be cooking…
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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
American Sardine Bar and Scott Schroeder offer a “celebrity” sandwich each month. The honor for July is bestowed upon Le Virtu’s Joe Cicala. Cicala has created a mortadella piadina. The sandwich includes mortadella, robiola, arugula and mustard. Get it all month at the Point Breeze bar.
American Sardine Bar [Official Site]
As we do every month, we’re giving you, the wise Foobooz reader, a chance to get ahead of the curve and take an early look at the schedule of upcoming classes at COOK. Like always, we’re showing this to you today in advance of the schedule being released to the public tomorrow and tickets for classes going on sale at 2pm. Like always, there are a bunch of really interesting classes coming up that a lot of you are no doubt interested in.
But this time around, we also have something special. Something REALLY special. It’s a Foobooz Open Stove night that we organized as part of the 40 public events Philadelphia magazine is doing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our Best of Philly issue. And it truly will be a night you don’t want to miss.
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Le Virtu’s recently redesigned outdoor dining area is officially reopening (they’ve been serving outdoors for about a month now) this Sunday, May 19th with a festive event and new dishes from chef Joe Cicala. The outdoor area has been paved with stones and bordered with shrubery that should soon be blossoming. In the rear of the space is a wooden canopy with clingin vines and attractive lighting. The canopy will eventually offer a small counter for guests to sit around to enjoy drinks and host special chef’s table dinners.paved with ivory-hued stone and bordered with smaller landscaping stones and lush shrubbery which will soon blossom.
This Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Le Virtu will be hosting a gathering on the patio. Cicala will be serving Le Virtu soup, the restaurant’s namesake spring soup of 49-ingredients. Grilled Arrosticini (lamb skewers), grilled sausage and vegetables plus wine from the new tap wine system. Tickets cost $45 per person and include food and beverges.
Inside, Cicala’s latest menu additions will be served.
What’s new at Le Virtu for spring »
So we just posted a couple hours ago about the Puchowitz/Sabatino/Moore collaboration and wine dinner coming up at Matyson on the 17th. Looks cool, right? But that’s really just the start of what’s shaping up to be a crazy-good season for multi-course, multi-chef special event dinners.
Any of you hardcore gastronauts with a hundred or so bucks in your pocket ought to pay special attention here…
7 chefs, 5 collaborations-a foodie dream-date
“You don’t want a beer,” said the bartender.
One by one, they’d filed in–couples, friends, regulars, all piling up on top of each other, dampening other guests’ clothing with their own (repercussion of the spitting afternoon rain). Some ordered drinks, most didn’t—and for good reason as I’d find out later. The coat racks filled, and the muraled bar went from hush to roar as the anticipation became audible. There was an electricity in the room; an excitement that effortlessly translated from the already educated to the soon-would-be.
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On Monday, December 3, six local chefs will come together to create an offal dinner at Le Virtù. The six-course meal is $60 and reservations are required as space is limited. The menu will be served only twice, at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Read on for the participants and menu »
Looking for some turkey cooking advice that goes beyond Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, 1-800-BUTTERBALL? Here are the best pieces of advice from top Philadelphia chefs including Joe Cicala, Rich Landau, Marc Vetri and Jose Garces.
Thanksgiving Tips From Philly’s Top Chefs »