Yeah, we did it again. Last night was the 10th installment of our Foobooz Open Stove series at COOK, and we celebrated with booze and food and dirty jokes and two great teams from two of the best restaurants in Philly.
On one side, we had Team SPTR, headed up by Mark Regan from the South Philly Tap Room. On the other, Team Zama, bossed by Kevin Yanaga of Zama. Both sides fought hard. Both sides put up some amazing dishes under odd (and seasonally-appropriate!) conditions. And in a rare moment for Open Stove, neither team panicked despite the fact that, this time around, they had every reason to.
What’s that you say? You couldn’t make it last night? Well that’s okay. You’ll get ‘em next time, tiger. But in the meantime, you’re lucky because we had COOK shooter Yoni Nimrod there taking snaps of all the action for us, so now you’ll know exactly what you missed.
Show me the pictures
Even at the very beginning of this story, something seemed…off.
It started back in July with the announcement that Matt Levin, chef and owner (along with partner Kar Vivekanathan) of Adsum, was going to be stepping back from the stoves. This was at toward the end of the month, and word on the street was that Levin was easing his way out in order to focus on some new project he had his eye on. There were promises that he was still going to be involved in the restaurant–that he was still going to be kicking around the joint and acting as an “inspiration” for the kitchen–but not, you know…cooking anymore.
A couple days after that, there was another announcement. Levin had named his sous chef, Rah Shabazz, as his successor and chef de cuisine. This seemed like a wise move: Shabazz had been there since day one, working alongside Levin, and was a man who understood the sometimes bizarre notions that whipped through the Adsum kitchen. You know, like making Tastykake sliders or doing a dinner based around the much-maligned 4 Loko. Shabazz got it, in other words. And even though his style was not quite so extreme as Levin’s, he vowed to maintain some of that spirit of weirdness that had animated Adsum under Levin. He worked up a new menu. He did tastings for the staff and for Vivekanathan. Everything seemed to be progressing smoothly.
Read more »